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Wednesday, October 28, 2015
A TALE OF TWO COACHES: MARK DANTONIO vs JIM HARBAUGH - - - A CASE STUDY
The Michigan fan-base continues to dwell on their latest loss, a 27-23 "upset" by Michigan State two weekends ago. The UM Coach says they've moved on to do battle with machine-gun-wielding worms, and the players say they're stoked up to turn the corner. But the lower elements of Walverine Nation continue to simmer about the so-called "gift" their team supposedly "gave to" our team on October 17.
Well then. If they are going to keep stirring the pot, then we have some more ingredients to throw in.
Remember that glazed look on Jim Harbaugh's face when the game ended, and continuing through the post-game press conference? (Of course you do, who will ever forget it!) He kept talking about "mistakes being made" and "not executing", repeating variations of both phrases several times the night of the game. Most people interpreted that commentary to mean he was pointing the finger of blame at one of his players, the punter who last touched the ball for Michigan. There has been little, if any, disagreement that Harbaugh "threw his player under the bus".
Remember that post-game press conference after the B1G Championship game in 2011, the last play of which was a punt that resulted in a roughing penalty on an MSU player to let Wisconsin run out the clock? Mark Dantonio never said anything that made anybody think that he was trashing his player for what many viewed as somewhere between a reasonable mistake and a bad penalty call.
Those are two very similar situations that led to two very different responses by two coaches. Harbaugh seemed to direct the blame at his player, leading to a public admonition of the UM fan-base to quit making death-threats to the poor kid. In contrast, Dantonio described the last play as part of a larger picture, an entire game comprised of more than 100 plays.
Here's a good story comparing the two situations in detail, an original piece from "isportsweb":