New Stanford Cardinal football coach Jim Harbaugh and I go way back. Really we do. Michigan's academic year ends kinda early, mid-late April, and many students will stay through June for a two month spring term. The appeal is that unlike the other 10 months of the year the weather is pleasant, no brutal cold or overwhelming humidity to make you curse all existence, and that limited class schedules lead to a lot of outdoor drinking. It's good fun.
Anyway, I stayed for spring term my sophomore year and at one such drinking event, a kegger (in the parlance of our times) at someone's house who should show up but the ex-Wolverine quarterback himself. He was in town for his charity golf tournament and since it was 1996 was pretty well known on sight because of his Blue career as well and because he'd taken the Colts to the AFC Championship game (and a dropped Hail Mary from the Super Bowl) a few months before. Anyway, Jim had a good time at the party, talked some shit about other players and teams, got drunk and left with a slutty if ugly girl. The last part is interesting because announcers were really fond of calling Harbaugh a family man during games and how if there was anything he loved more than football it was his wife and kids. I dare say that if the internet and cell phones were in their current state back then Mr. Harbaugh would have been emblazoned on web sites nationwide in a matter of days.
So what? So now that he's coach of the Cardinal, Harbaugh isn't able to get away with shooting his mouth off anymore. He's gotten himself into a war of words with Pete Carroll, the coach of USC, by claiming that Carroll's on the way out of Trojanville.
"Perhaps the reason it's been up and down here [at Stanford] is that no one has stayed here 20 years," Harbaugh told Dodd. "… Charlie Weis is going to do that at Notre Dame. [Jim] Tressel at Ohio State. Pete's doing it. He's only got one more year, though. He'll be there one more year. That's what I've heard. I heard it inside the staff."
Carroll was reportedly miffed at Harbaugh's suggestion, although the denial he issued was hardly dripping with hellfire and brimstone.
"If he's going to make statements like that, he ought to get his information right," Carroll said. "And if he has any questions about it he should call me."
I think Harbaugh's doing the same thing he did at that party 10 years ago, trying to get some shit started. Stanford has fallen off the map during the Buddy Teevens/Walt Harris "era" and Harbaugh comes from a school that is crazy for college football and played for a coach who engaged in an epic feud with Woody Hayes. Give him credit for trying to do the same thing with Carroll.
And if it is true that Carroll is riding off into the sunset, I will give a piece of free advice to the hiring committee at USC: Don't replace him with Rich Kotite.