After former staffer Connor Stalions was accused of a broad advance-scouting plot in October, the Wolverines became the season's greatest villains.
As the story captivated college football fans, the Big Ten punished Harbaugh for the next three games of Michigan's regular season for breaching its sportsmanship rules. Despite having no evidence that Harbaugh knew about Stalions' strategy, the Big Ten suspended him since he was the program's face and would not disturb Michigan's athletes.
Michigan and Harbaugh promptly protested the Big Ten's verdict but withdrew their appeal, and Harbaugh missed games against Penn State, Maryland, and Ohio State. After a strong Big Ten title game win over Iowa, Michigan won their first playoff game in three attempts over Alabama in the Rose Bowl.
With probable fines from the recruitment inquiry and advance scouting method, Harbaugh should join the NFL in 2024. After interviewing with NFL teams at Michigan, he proved his pro coaching skills. Under Harbaugh, the 49ers never lost a season in four years.
You may also say his alma institution has nothing left to do. In 2021, Harbaugh led Michigan to the College Football Playoff after beating Ohio State for the first time after taking a salary cut to maintain his job following a 2-4 season in 2020. Two years later, Michigan leads collegiate football.
If Harbaugh returns, he'll be one of the three highest-paid college football coaches until he gets a huge contract. Heisman runner-up Michael Penix Jr. excelled in the Sugar Bowl triumph over Texas. Penix lacked sharpness Monday night. He was severely punished in the second half.
After twisting his ankle to open the second half, he shuffled and attempted shots that left him grimacing and appearing like his right side was in pain. Penix walked off the field in discomfort, holding his abdomen with a towel.
Penix completed 27-of-51 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. He had one of his worst performances since joining Washington before the 2022 season, and his stat line made a huge statement for a Michigan team that entered the game third in pass defense.
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