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Jim Harbaugh Coaching Watch: Contract Leverage Boosted With Stanford Cardinal Orange Bowl Rout

The San Francisco 49ers ownership and Michigan Wolverines donors probably flinched at the dominance of Jim Harbaugh and his Stanford Cardinal in a nationally televised beatdown of the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2011 Orange Bowl. Harbaugh seemed to dismiss any notion that his team was distracted from the mission at hand (winning the game) by rolling off 27 unanswered points in the second half, as his Cardinal offense and defense shut down a Hokies team on an eleven game winning streak coming into this affair.

The question remains: How much does this improve Harbaugh’s situation? Darren Rovell, CNBC sports business reporter, tweeted that no coach has ever been sought after in the way that Harbaugh will be over the next few days. This provides more leverage for Harbaugh to demand a higher contract, as Stanford seems more and more willing to shill out the big bucks for a successful football program and could very well drive up his market value. Michigan and the other NFL teams interested in Harbaugh will probably have to fork over a little more. There’s no sign he’s coming to a decision anytime soon and will begin leveraging his name for all it’s worth.