It’s been well documented that Jim Harbaugh took a pay cut to remain the head coach at Michigan. He gambled on himself, as the university restructured his contract after a 2-4 campaign in 2020.

The gamble paid off.

Michigan is 12-1 this season, defeating Ohio State and Iowa in the B1G Championship Game to punch its ticket to the College Football Playoff. The Wolverines will play Georgia in the Orange Bowl with a trip to the national championship hanging in the balance.

Asked about the decision to take the pay cut, Harbaugh said it really wasn’t a big deal. He just enjoys being in Ann Arbor and leading the program.

“I reacted (like) no big deal,” Harbaugh said, per “Attacking each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. It didn’t really mean anything to me. It’s just money. Big deal.”

“You’ve asked me before, but I’d do it for free,” Harbaugh said. “I would do this job for free. I love it.”

Michigan’s B1G title is the first of the Harbaugh era. The College Football Playoff berth is also a first for the Wolverines. Rarely does a team go from a 2-win season into competing for a national championship, but that’s how it worked in Ann Arbor.

Regardless of outcome in the Orange Bowl, it’s safe to say Michigan’s gamble on Harbaugh paid off.