The Michigan Wolverines came into the Orange Bowl with a lot of hype and the kind of excitement that has been rare in Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as head coach. Thanks to a win over Ohio State and a Big Ten title, a lot of people were thinking that Harbaugh had turned the corner and made Michigan the championship program that he’d been expected to be all this time.
And then they go thoroughly outplayed and outcoached by the Georgia Bulldogs in a 34-11 loss that wasn’t even that close. Georgia moves on to play for the national title while the Wolverines head home to wonder what could have been.
The big loss also gives Harbaugh’s detractors a lot of ammo to work with as his reputation starts to descend back down to earth. Given that the biggest knock on Harbaugh was that he couldn’t get Michigan to win when it mattered most, Friday’s outcome certainly didn’t help matters. And while the Ohio State win was impressive, the all-SEC championship game also illustrated that Michigan and the rest of college football still need to do more to compete.
College football folks on Twitter certainly weren’t as kind to Harbaugh on Friday following the game as they’d been to him in earlier days.
Jim Harbaugh turned back into a pumpkin.
Those dudes super bowl was beating Ohio State after that if they got waxed in the playoffs it was just house money. They will stay full off that win for another 10 years.
— jbook™ (@jbook37) January 1, 2022
It's like Jim Harbaugh won one big game and everyone forgot how horrible he is preparing for big games.
— Justin A. Cohn (@SportsiCohn) January 1, 2022
Flat out dominance on both sides of the ball by Georgia. Most surprising is what the Bulldogs have been able to do defensively. They've gone up and down the field at will. First by getting Michigan out of sorts with formation, then by just running by the secondary…
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) January 1, 2022
After careful consideration, I believe this half by Michigan is proof that no Big Ten team should ever be considered for the College Football Playoff ever again. I take no pleasure in reporting this.
— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) January 1, 2022
Michigan let the entire Big Ten down tonight.
What a pathetic showing from the Wolverines.
It's very clear that Jim Harbaugh is not ready for the big time stage.
— Nick Adams (@NickAdamsinUSA) January 1, 2022
Michigan falling off our radars for 5-ish years made us all forget that Jim Harbaugh is a beautiful weirdo
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) January 1, 2022
It’s official, folks. Mel Tucker has more NY6 wins than Jim Harbaugh. One is in Year 2 while the other Year 7.
— Bryan (@bnevzz) January 1, 2022
It was a very successful year for Harbaugh and Michigan but this loss is going to sting for a while, especially as it’s what people outside of Ann Arbor are going to remember most. We’ll see if they’ve got another run in themselves next year and if Harbaugh will ever be able to get over the hump.