Michigan basketball: Juwan Howard is the antithesis of Jim Harbaugh

Michigan basketball is thriving under Juwan Howard while Michigan football has languished in mediocrity under Jim Harbaugh. 

Juwan Howard is what Michigan hoped Jim Harbaugh would be.

The two Michigan Men were brought back to their alma maters with high hopes and great expectations to return their programs to national prominence.

Harbaugh had a tougher road to bring the Michigan football program back after years of dismal play under Brady Hoke and Rich Rodriquez than Howard who took over for John Beilein who twice had teams play in the National Championship Game.

But it’s Howard who has proven to be the Michigan Man who has had the most success and has Michigan basketball poised to cut the nets down in April.

Juwan Howard doing what Jim Harbaugh hasn’t yet done at Michigan

Howard led Michigan to a dominating win over Wisconsin on Tuesday and looks to join Gonzaga, Baylor and Texas as the favorites to reach the Final Four.

While Michigan basketball has become a consistent force in college basketball, perhaps even surpassing rival Michigan State, it’s Harbaugh’s program that is without an identity and an arrow pointing down.

Harbaugh was extended for another five years but took a steep pay cut as part of his contract extension. He has not been what Michigan, Michigan football fans and college football media at large anticipated when he took the job. It started out promising but it’s since plateaued and is regressing.

Why hasn’t Harbaugh developed a quarterback yet?

Why can so many other programs turn around their fortunes so quickly but Michigan is going backward?

Will Harbaugh evolve or will he go extinct like another former Michigan Man, Les Miles, did at the end of his LSU tenure?

These are big questions for Harbaugh to address.

Meanwhile, Howard has Michigan basketball fans excited about the present and the future. It’s a stark contrast in the successes and failures of the two.

The former Fab Five member didn’t win a title during his playing days in Ann Arbor but he could be a few months away from his first as a coach.

That’ll only put the pressure on Harbaugh even more.

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