Jim Harbaugh wasn't the first B1G coach to call out jive turkeys, nor is he the last
Jim Harbaugh squashed NFL rumors in exactly the fashion one would expect.
He delivered a loud, clear message that reminded everyone that nobody controls the message about Jim Harbaugh except Jim Harbaugh.
“I’m not leaving Michigan,” Harbaugh said at Tuesday’s awards banquet. “Not even considering it. A lot of this talk is coming from our enemies, from coaches, you know the names. You probably know the names of the top three I’m referring to. They like to say that to the media. They like to tell that to the recruits, to their families, try to manipulate them into going to some other school besides Michigan.
“We know them as jive turkeys. Say it like it is. that’s the way it is.”
Jive turkeys. Add that to the Harbaugh repertoire of words that few human beings can get away with.
But that’s where the originality of Harbaugh’s comments ended.
Harbaugh called out three schools for essentially making up rumors about him to get a recruiting edge. Um, James Franklin called. He wants his complaint back.
It’s somewhat baffling that this is still a public complaint. Franklin walked back his comments and turned it into a he-said, she-said ordeal at B1G Media Days, but Harbaugh won’t back off what he said.
Who are Michigan’s enemies? Well, this is just taking a guess, but pick three from the likes of Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State. Maybe Rutgers is part of that mix, but Harbaugh is unlikely to identify the Knights as “top three.”
Any way you slice it up, Harbaugh threw shade at some combination of B1G East teams. You know, just like Franklin did a few months earlier when the Jerry Sandusky investigation revealed new information.
Guess what? Within months, we’ll be talking about another B1G East coach claiming division foes are guilty of negative recruiting. This is what winning does. This is what playing in the toughest division in college football does.
Think about this. There’s a decent chance that there will be THREE B1G East teams in the preseason top five next year. Ohio State and Penn State — given their incredible youth — appear to be locks for that. Michigan will lose a ton, but Harbaugh’s presence will make the Wolverines a preseason top 10 until further notice.
The margin for error in the B1G East is so slim. Inches, in fact. Or according to Harbaugh, a foot.
“Jive turkeys. They were this big.” pic.twitter.com/tnhTZR7XKH
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) December 14, 2016
Harbaugh is the last person to let anyone drag his name through the mud. For all we know, he only heard whispers of one B1G East team making up the NFL rumor. But with signing day six weeks away, why not put all of Michigan’s “enemies” on blast?
And for the record, there’s no way that coaches originated Harbaugh-to-the-NFL rumors. The immediate reaction from national media following the Fisher firing was, ‘Oh, Jim Harbaugh would be a splashy hire.’ Blame Eric Dickerson if you want. He was the one who floated out that pipe dream a week before Fisher was even fired.
But Harbaugh is so consumed in recruiting that of course enemy coaches were to blame for those rumors. Naturally, he took the opportunity to get back on the offensive side. It doesn’t matter where he believes the rumors started.
It doesn’t take much for a rumor to circulate in the recruiting world. Last year, a highly-touted B1G East commit told me that he was wavering on his commitment because he wasn’t sure if his coach would be fired or not. He said a different B1G East team was his backup plan. There was zero chance this B1G coach was getting fired, but how do you think that rumor started?
This is the world we live in. Like it or not, jive turkeys are everywhere. Perhaps they’re more prevalent in the B1G East these days. No division has better coaches and no division has better teams. If they have it their way, no division will have better recruiting classes.
Harbaugh made sure the world knew he wasn’t going anywhere. Well, neither are the jive turkeys.