Michigan football has much bigger problems than Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines. (USA Today)
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines. (USA Today) /

The problems are piling up for Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan football program this season.

This feels like the beginning of the end of the Jim Harbaugh era of Michigan football but it’s not all his fault.

After defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers on the road in primetime two weeks ago, the Michigan Wolverines are on the precipice of falling to 1-2 on the season. They lost a terrible game at home to in-state rival Michigan State last week. Now, they are trailing Indiana and on the verge of losing to the Hoosiers for the first time since 1987 when Harbaugh was in his rookie year with the Chicago Bears in the NFL.

Harbaugh may be the fall guy, but he’s far from the biggest issue with Michigan football. The biggest issue is the Wolverines defense.

While the offense has had its issues, just take a look at Don Brown’s defense

Though offense ineptitude has largely defined the five-plus years of Harbaugh leading his alma mater, the biggest issue this year is Don Brown’s defense. His side of the ball cannot seemingly stop anyone. Entering play in Week 10, the Wolverines had the  No. 41 scoring defense, the No. 48 total defense, the No. 79 pass defense and No. 56 third-down defense in the nation. It is not good. The secondary is getting picked apart by the Hoosiers.

Defensive prowess had been Michigan’s calling card throughout the Harbaugh era. Now we are seeing the Wolverines trail the Hoosiers on the road 24-7 at halftime and trail 31-14 at the time of publishing with 4:39 left in the third quarter. This is the third week in a row Michigan has allowed at least 24 points. Though the Wolverines scored at least 27 points in their first two games of 2020, the offense is not reliable enough to consistently win shootouts.

Ultimately, this team is too talented to lose back-to-back games to divisional rivals it never should. Michigan cannot lose to its little brother school Michigan State, especially in The Big House. If the Wolverines were to fall in Bloomington, it would be the first time Michigan has lost to Indiana since the Ronald Reagan Administration. Things are not going well in Ann Arbor at all.

If Michigan cannot get right defensively, the Wolverines might be a 3-5 team in 2020.

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