They’re easy.

I get it. I write for a living, too. I understand simple math, as well. I know that if Michigan loses to Ohio State on Saturday, Jim Harbaugh will fall to 0-3 against the Buckeyes and 1-5 against Michigan State and OSU. He’ll drop to 0-3 against MSU, OSU and Penn State in 2017. Win or lose, Harbaugh will fail to finish in the top two of the B1G East for the third straight year.

With a Michigan loss on Saturday, you’re going to hear about all of those things. You’ll see the comparisons to Brady Hoke and whether Harbaugh is really all he’s cracked up to be. If you’re taking a drink for every time you see Harbaugh called “overrated” after a potential loss, don’t. Save your liver.

But save your hot takes about Harbaugh’s future for down the road when he’s had more than three years to take a 5-win Michigan squad and turn it into a conference champ and College Football Playoff-bound.

I know. It’s sitting right there. It’s an easy thing to say, write or tweet if Michigan falls to Ohio State. Harbaugh is an easy target with all the attention he draws. He’s unapologetic and visible, which is the perfect combination for everybody in America to hurl hot takes at.

Just for now, put them on the back burner.

Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Fox Sports, CBS Sports and The Chicago Sun-Times (twice). Those were just a few of the publications that fired off hot takes in the last two weeks about Harbaugh’s “uncertain” future in Ann Arbor.

So before you accuse Harbaugh-to-NFL talk as just being the product of clickbait websites and message boards, consider that.

Anyone who suggests either that Michigan would fire Harbaugh or that he’d leave for the NFL at season’s end — whether it’s a Washington Post columnist or a mom’s basement blogger — is delusional. All of those takes, easy and stale, ignored some extremely obvious facts.

Harbaugh has complete roster control at Michigan, which he shows off by refusing to list a depth chart on a weekly basis. In case the hot-takers forgot, not having complete roster control in the NFL was sort of a big reason why tensions ran high in San Francisco. To think that Harbaugh will get an ounce of the control that Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel gave him is comical.

By the way, Manuel has been the guy signing check after check for Harbaugh to take Michigan to Europe and to spend millions and millions of dollars on recruiting. As long as Manuel has a job — there’s no reason to think he’ll gone anytime soon — Harbaugh will have one in Ann Arbor. Of course none of those aforementioned Harbaugh columns made any mention of that.

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None of that is new information, though. Anyone who has actually watched Harbaugh since he arrived at Michigan in 2015 could’ve told you that. Those factors alone are enough of a reason to prevent Harbaugh and his 0.757 winning percentage from getting fired or jumping ship. To think that Harbaugh, after coming up short repeatedly against Ohio State, would take his ball and go home is incredibly unrealistic.

Still, there will be plenty of hot-takers speculating about that if the Wolverines lose on Saturday.

Never mind the fact that Brady Quinn-fueled rumors began this week that Michigan was working on offering Harbaugh a lifetime contract. Anybody who has paid any attention to Harbaugh lately would tell you that’s a much more realistic possibility than a move back to the NFL or Michigan firing him.

And no, it doesn’t matter if the Wolverines get blown out 42-0 on Saturday. Forget about the notion that Michigan would suddenly sour on a coach that averaged nine wins in his first three seasons. You know how many Michigan coaches averaged nine wins since 1950?

Here’s the list:

  • Bo Schembechler, 9.24
  • Lloyd Carr, 9.38

That’s it.

Harbaugh, even if he loses on Saturday and Michigan loses its bowl game, will be at 9.33. Yes, the 12-game schedule might not make that accomplishment quite what it once was. And Harbaugh might not have the big-time wins yet.

But did Schembechler and Carr inherit five-win teams like Harbaugh did? Nope. Both inherited eight-win teams.

Harbaugh was brought to Ann Arbor to be the next Schembechler. Has he gotten Michigan to that level yet? Nope. Do I think that’s going to be the driving force behind the rest of Harbaugh’s time in Ann Arbor? Absolutely.

This notion that Harbaugh is unhappy at Michigan has nothing to do with his surroundings. If there’s anything that’s truly making Harbaugh “unhappy,” it’s that his good team isn’t a great team yet.

People can speculate about Harbaugh’s time in Ann Arbor coming to an end, and they can throw out all the hot takes they want.

They’re easy, but that doesn’t mean that they’re accurate.