Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will not be on the sidelines when the No. 3 Wolverines tackle No. 10 Penn State Saturday, Nov. 11 at Beaver Stadium in State College, PA.
Harbaugh has been suspended by the Big Ten Conference for the final three games of the 2023 regular season following the NCAA’s investigation into an in-person scouting operation.
Michigan was found to be in violation of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy for “conducting an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over multiple years, resulting in an unfair competitive advantage that compromised the integrity of competition,” the conference said in a statement.
Harbaugh is allowed to attend practices or other football team activities. The statement clarifies that “the Head Football Coach shall not be present at the game venue on the dates of the games to which this disciplinary action applies.”
However, the University of Michigan is trying to obtain a court order to halt Harbaugh’s suspension.
“We are entitled to a fair, deliberate, and thoughtful process to determine the full set of facts before a judgment is rendered. Today’s action by commissioner Tony Petitti disregards the conference’s own handbook, violates basic tenets of due process, and sets an untenable precedent of assessing penalties before an investigation has been completed.”
Michigan is a -4.5 point favorite Saturday at Penn State with the game total 45.5 points between two of the countries top defenses.
Week 11 Top 25 games, odds and schedule including Michigan vs Penn State analysis
Michigan plays at Maryland on Sat., Nov. 18 and hosts Ohio State on Sat., Nov. 25. Leading online sportsbook FanDuel has posted advance betting lines for those games with the Wolverines (-20.5) more than a three TD favorite over the Terrapins, and Michigan (-6) a TD favorite over Ohio State.
Both Michigan and Ohio State remain undefeated for the second straight season ahead of “The Game” and big rivalry in Ann Arbor in two weeks.
Jim Harbaugh Suspended
With the Big Ten’s suspension of Jim Harbaugh, CBS college football analyst and writer Dennis Dodd says “the NCAA has fastracked this case at a time when coach Jim Harbaugh is already being investigated for lying to the NCAA.” He added that “if the enforcement staff doesn’t decide to bundle these cases, then Michigan could potentially be in line for repeat violator status.” While a longshot at this stage, the death penalty is potentially on the table to be applied.
Master spreadsheet detailing the extensive in-person sign stealing activities by Michigan.
Could this situation impact the College Football Playoff rankings and have an impact against Michigan?
Dodd: “I’ve said this from the beginnnig of the of the College Football Playoff (2014). This is the least transparent process by which to select a champion, in the history of college football.” He adds, “for some hardliners, (AP voters, coaches) they are going to vote a different way on Michigan because this is an integrity issue.”
Should Michigan win their final three games, the Wolverines will be Big Ten East division champions and play the West division champion in the Big Ten Championship Game Dec. 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. A loss to Penn State or Maryland plus a win over Ohio State can also get Michigan into that conference title game, along with the four team College Football Playoff.
According to FanDuel Sportsbook odds, Michigan is currently +280 to win the national championship and -170 to reach the final four and College Football Playoff.
Regardless, we may be seeing the end of coach Jim Harbaugh in college football. The 59-year-old is in his 9th year as head coach at Michigan, where he played quarterback for the Wolverines from 1983-1986.
Harbaugh was courted this past offseason to return to the NFL as head coach. Despite saying he didn’t plan to seek another NFL head coaching job after interviewing with the Minnesota Vikings in February, this suspension and surrounding situation will surely change his thoughts again about the NCAA and college football coaching.
Rumblings and favorable odds out of Las Vegas suggest Harbaugh could be roaming the sidelines as head coach of the Raiders next season.
You can bet on it.
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