Sans Jim Harbaugh, the Michigan Wolverines still got the job done. After Saturday's 24-15 win over Penn State, one Michigan player delivered a clear message to the rest of the conference.
Just one day earlier, the college football landscape experienced a seismic shift when the Big Ten levied a punishment for Michigan's alleged violations relating to sign-stealing. Even with the NCAA investigation underway, the conference decided to take matters into its own hands and dole out a three-game suspension for Jim Harbaugh.
In light of that news, Michigan defensive lineman Cam Goode held up a sign after beating the Nittany Lions. The sign carried a short and simple message: Free Jim.
Michigan players show unwavering support for Jim Harbaugh after win against Penn State
In Game 1 of Harbaugh's suspension, the Wolverines were led by interim head coach and offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore in a tough and gritty matchup against the defensively stout Nittany Lions.
Based on the suspension stipulations, Harbaugh can be with the team during practices, but he has to be off the field in games.
Without Harbaugh on the sidelines, Michigan nonetheless took care of business in a narrow 24-15 victory. The Wolverines leaned on their run game as quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw for a measly 60 yards all afternoon, and every single offensive play in the second half saw Michigan run the rock.
In all likelihood, the Big Ten won't magically reverse its ruling on Michigan. The school is expected to take its case to court next Friday in hopes of being granted a temporary restraining order that would allow Harbaugh to coach the final two season games against Maryland and Ohio State.
Unsurprisingly, Michigan players want to free Jim as soon as possible. It's just not up to them.