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Thursday, June 18, 2015


We have heard a lot of noise about how Harbaugh is "1 of the 3 best football coaches at any level." That is typically followed by noise about his successes at Stanford, especially in games versus USC.

Well, the facts of the matter are Harbaugh only had 2 winning seasons out of 4 at Stanford and only 1 of those seasons could be called remarkable.

  • 2007:   4-8 (no bowl)
  • 2008:   5-7 (no bowl)
  • 2009:   8-5 (lost Sun Bowl)
  • 2010: 12-1 (won Orange Bowl)

That is a 29-21-0 (.580) record with a 1-1 bowl record. So, let's look at the Stanford 2010 season under Harbaugh's "expert" coaching.

  • Stanford's 13 opponents played 162 games that season with a whopping .518 aggregate season record (84-78-0) .
  • OOC opponents had a season aggregate of 21-27-0 (.437).
  • Including the bowl opponent, the OOC aggregate season record goes to 32-30-0 (.516).

Conference opponents had a whopping season aggregate of 52-48-0 (.520):

  • 5 of the 13 opponents had losing records that season (Washington St. 2-10, Wake Forest 3-9, UCLA 4-8, California 5-7, Oregon St. 5-7).
  • 1 team (Arizona St.) went .500.
  • 1 of the teams with a winning record (6-5) was Cal. St.-Sacramento, a I-AA team.
  • 2 teams went 7-6 (Washington, Arizona)
  • 2 teams went 8-5, including the vaunted USC, and Notre Dame.
  • 2 teams had 10 or more wins.
  • Oregon (12-1, Pac-12 Champions) walloped Stanford 52-31.
  • This leaves the only noteworthy win for the Cardinal in 2010 - a 40-12 win over Virginia Tech (11-3) in the Orange Bowl.

Yes, indeed, Harbaugh is qualified to follow in the footsteps of the Legendary Bo Schembechler, who put up similar results against equally inept opponents, but could not win the big one. Neither has Harbaugh.

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  1. So the guy pulls off a top 5 all-time upset in college football history, has a 6-5 record against ranked teams while Stanford (Dantonio is 8-22), wins a BCS bowl game against a team that won 11 in a row and you're claiming he's inept in big games? Sounds like you're just cherry picking a schedule to your benefit and more than anything he just had a consistency problem those first two years Eventually though he got the program rebuilt which was in far worse than any situation Dantonio took over.

  2. Top 5 all time upset? If you are talking about that 2007 1 point win over USC, that was a good game, but not a "Top 5 All Time." Since you are into comparisons, in the last 50 years, unranked MSU took down No. 1 ranked OSU twice; unranked MSU took down No. 1 ranked UM, and, in more recent times, I-AA Appy St. taking down No. 5 UM, which certainly is one of the top 5 all time upsets.

    Quite impressive, that 11 in a row opponent: VaTech 2010

    L Boise St. (12-1-0)
    L James Madison (I-AA) (6-5-0)
    W E. Carolina (5-7-0)
    W Boston College (7-6-0)
    W NC St. (9-4-0)
    W C. Mich. (3-9-0)
    W Wake Forest (3-9-0)
    W Duke (3-9-0)
    W GA Tech (6-7-0)
    W UNC (8-5-0)
    W Miami (FL) (7-6-0)
    W Virginia (4-8-0)
    W Florida St. (10-4-0)

    I never claimed he was "inept in big games." I claimed he played against mostly inept teams. Nice try at twisting what was written.

    There was no cherry picking, contrary to your claim. No data was emphasized or de-emphasized or excluded. The 4-year record is complete and accurate and the arithmetic contains no errors.

    "Could not win the big one." Where is the championship? Where is the Rose Bowl?

    Before you start raving with more idiocies, I never said there were no quality wins. There are a few. There is a difference between a quality win and a Big win.

    Why did you think it necessary to start comparing coaches and teams. There was nothing in the article that suggested anything like that. The 4-year record at Stanford stands on its own in that article.

    Well, there will always be those who believe it is not cherry picking to name just 2 games and 1 stat as "proof" of their point.


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