Not a lot of good news coming out of Michigan these last few years. Detroit went broke, people left the state for Texas and other places where they could find jobs, and the University of Michigan football team could not seem to beat Ohio State.
Woe and lamentations upon the land.
Now, arrives Jim Harbaugh. The savior coach. He is not expected to revitalize Detroit. Or bring back the state’s economic luster. He has a much tougher job than that. Tougher, anyway, in the sense that he will be judged remorselessly by something that can’t be parsed, deconstructed, or spun. That would be the scoreboard. For the believers there will be only one measure. Wins and losses ... and can he beat Ohio State.
If he can do that, win some Big Ten titles, even a national championship in the six years he is signing up for …then in the minds of many in Michigan he will be worth every penny of the $48 million is he rumored to be earning.
It won’t be easy. College football was once dominated by Michigan, Ohio State, and the other powerhouses from the mid-West. But like the automobile plants, the manufacturing jobs, and the electoral votes, college football pre-eminence has gone South.