Finishing the 2020 season a disappointing 2-4, agreeing to a pay cut and bringing in almost an entirely new coaching staff, it is not difficult to see why many consider 2021 to be a pivotal season for head coach Jim Harbaugh’s tenure in Ann Arbor.

While the coach is 49-22 (34-16 Big Ten) at Michigan, the program has posted just an 11-8 record over the last two seasons and has not defeated Ohio State since 2011, when Brady Hoke was roaming the sideline.

Asked about this hot seat talk during his Thursday appearance at B1G Media Days in Indianapolis, Harbaugh lived up to his reputation as one of college football’s most quotable and entertaining coaches.

“Almost like World War II propaganda machines,” Harbaugh said. “‘Stop. Quit. There’s no need to try. You have no chance.’

“We don’t subscribe to that. We’re trying to get to the top.”

For what it is worth, CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd identified Harbaugh as one of nine coaches with their jobs on the line this fall in his July 13 article, a list in which the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ Scott Frost also appeared.

The non-conference portion of the Wolverines’ schedule does seem to be manageable, as the program opens at home with the Mid-American Conference’s Western Michigan Broncos on September 4, followed by two more Michigan Stadium dates with the Pacific-12 Conference’s Washington Huskies and another MAC school, the Northern Illinois Huskies, on September 11 and 18, respectively.

Starting 3-0, or at least 2-1, could go a long way toward propelling Harbaugh and the team to the season they need for him to return in 2022.