Michigan is looking for a new head coach of their football team, following the school’s worst season in five years. While a few big names have been linked to the program as possible replacements for Brady Hoke, one coach stands out as the favorite.
Reports throughout the season have indicated that Jim Harbaugh won’t return to the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, and he could be headed back to college football. The former NFL quarterback, who played for Michigan in the 1980s, was the head coach of Stanford for four seasons, before making the leap to the pros.
Over the weekend, signs pointed to Harbaugh joining Michigan. Sportsbook.ag was forced to take down betting odds, regarding the coach’s future, because the website had received so much action on the possibility of Harbaugh going to the Big Ten powerhouse. On Friday, the odds of Harbaugh coaching Michigan next year went from 8-1 to 2-1, but the betting public continued to wager that the coach’s future is with the Wolverines.
Sportsbook.ag afraid "someone might know more about his coaching situation than us" so Harbaugh as next Michigan coach betting was suspended
â€” RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) December 6, 2014
Harbaugh might be Michigan’s No.1 choice, but that doesn’t mean the school will get their man, even if Harbaugh’s days with the 49ers are numbered. The latest odds have the Oakland Raiders as the 50-year-old’s most likely destination in 2015. The 49ers lost to the lowly Raiders on Sunday, 24-13.
If Harbaugh is unavailable, Michigan could look towards a top college coach as their No.1 candidate. Les Miles could be the perfect fit in Ann Arbor, considering his pedigree and success at the college level. Having played with Michigan under Bo Schembechler in the 1970’s, he became LSU’s head coach in 2005 and has never led the team to fewer than eight wins in a season.
The idea of Miles coaching his alma mater isn’t anything new, and he’s deflected such questions in the past. According to Sports Illustrated, Miles would likely take the job if it's offered to him, though the school hasn't had much interest in him during their past two coaching searches. As he prepares his team to take on Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl, Miles insists he hasn’t talked to Michiagn about taking the job.
"That's not even a part of this conversation," Miles said, via NOLA.com. "It's (about promoting) our teams and looking forward to this (bowl game).
"I'm not in any way giving time to those questions if you don't mind."
A few college coaches who have become consistent winners could become viable candidates for Michigan. David Shaw of Stanford might be highly considered, as he’s been linked to multiple coaching jobs in the last year. While the Cardinal went just 7-5 in 2014, he won at least 11 games in his previous three seasons as Stanford’s head coach.
Gil Brandt of nfl.com has speculated that Greg Schiano could become the front-runner for the job. Schiano was fired towards the end of last year after two seasons as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Before failing in the NFL, Schiano went 68-67 at Rutgers, leading the Scarlet Knights to six winning seasons in seven years.