Jim Harbaugh and his agent were probably the big winners from the 2011 Gator Bowl. Dan Mullen and the Mississippi St. Bulldogs made Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines look feeble offensively and toothless defensively in a 52-14 obliteration, piling up 485 yards of total offense over 35 minutes. Brian Cook of MGoBlog mentioned yesterday that the hiring of Greg Robinson as defensive coordinator was a total disaster, and it sure looked like that as the Bulldogs scored more points against Michigan than they did against patsies like Memphis or Alcorn State.
The Michigan regents, who’ve long been considered unhappy with the results Rodriguez has produced the past few years, now have further justification to let him off the hook and pursue Harbaugh hard. Plenty of ESPN commentators were ready to bring his name up as well, as if they already knew the hammer was about to drop. On the flip side, the Michigan loss can only add more leverage for Harbaugh to pursue the best possible contract from the Wolverines. Considering Michigan’s interest in Harbaugh is beyond transparent, and there will be demands from other places like the San Francisco 49ers, he’ll be free to demand whatever he wants if athletic director Dave Brandon decides to cut the cord with Rich Rod.
Anxious Michigan fans will now have a long two days to wait between here and the Orange Bowl before they know what the near future holds for their program.