The headline jumped off the computer screen. I read it, swallowed and …

Screen grab of Jim Harbaugh “most overrated coach ever” headline from Clay Travis and OutkickTheCoverage.

…. And, and …

The normal reaction would be to prepare my defense. It’s what I do as a supporter of all things Harbaugh, even extending out to brother-in-laws like former Indiana and current Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean. I’ve always been a fan of Jim, back to his playing days at Michigan and in the NFL with the Bears and Colts, two of my teams. I’ve always respected everyone in the family, from Jack on down, including John and Joani and her hubby

So, “most overrated coach” ever? Well, my defense is …

Nope, I don’t have one.

When someone like Clay Travis at Outkick the Coverage says that, you just can’t find a good point or two to argue back with. He’s right, sad to say.

His points are all valid. Jim and his Wolverines are 9-9 in his last 18 games. And that spins off these facts:

  • Urban Meyer has only lost EIGHT games is six-plus years at Ohio State.
  • Nick Saban has only lost NINE games at Alabama is the last seven-plus years.
  • Jim is now 1-6 against rivals Ohio State, Michigan State and Notre Dame.
  • And, worst of all, he’s turned into Brady Hoke! Hoke was 27-13 through 40  games, and Harbaugh is just 28-12.

Let’s look at the wins during this 18-game stretch: Maryland, Minnesota, Rutgers, Indiana, Purdue, Air Force and Cincinnati in 2017 were all unranked. The only 2017 win against a ranked team was in the opener against Florida — they were No. 17 at the time — but they were also probably the most overrated team in America at the time. That Gators team only won four games all year, so it’s hard to even count it as a win against a ranked team. The last 2016 win (Indiana) was also against an unranked team.

So, clearly, in the nine wins there isn’t a single one worth bragging about.

And here are the losses: No 12 Notre Dame (Sept. 1 2018); South Carolina (Jan. 1, 2018); No. 9 Ohio State (Nov. 25, 2017; No. 5 Wisconsin (Nov. 18, 2017); No. 2 Penn State (Oct. 21, 2017); Michigan State (Oct. 7, 2017); No. 11 Florida State (Dec. 30, 2016); No. 2 Ohio State (Nov. 26, 2016) and Iowa (Nov. 12, 2016)

Of the nine losses, only three came against unranked teams. The six ranked teams were all No. 12 or better, with two No. 2s and a No. 5 in there. It’s healthy competition, to be sure, but none were wins. You just can’t keep losing all these big games. There has to be a few wins in there somewhere.

Travis, a respected college football voice, did make it clear that he doesn’t think Harbaugh is a bad coach. He uses the “overrated” tag more because of all the hype that Harbaugh gets. I mean, seriously, look at the big picture. Harbaugh arrives as a savior at Michigan, a coach who turned around the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL and even took them to a Super Bowl. He was supposed to be winning Big Ten titles by now and being in the Playoff discussion every year.

He would come to Michigan and restore the roars. He’s garnered publicity galore and recruited well, but it hasn’t translated to win. Not even close. A 9-9 record in the last 18 is hard to swallow.

Even worse, comparisons to Brady Hoke are harder to swallow.

All that being sad, it’s not over yet. A loss to Notre Dame is exactly that, one loss! Michigan can still salvage this season and Harbaugh can still rewrite his legacy at his alma mater. There are plenty of big games down the road, and maybe Harbaugh and the Wolverines will win some — or all — of them.

But until then …

Yep, that label sticks.