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MONDAY HUDDLE: Jim Harbaugh likely is not going anywhere, despite debate

5 takeaways from this weekend's football scene around the state

Head coach Jim Harbaugh of Michigan during Saturday's 28-21 loss at Penn State. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Here are five takeaways from this past weekend's football action around the state.

The Harbaugh debate rages on, but is pointless

Following Michigan's 28-21 loss at Penn State that all but assured the Wolverines once again won't make it to Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game, there are two big camps involved in a heated debate regarding Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

There's the "He hasn't won anything in five years, get him out of here" camp and the "He still is winning 75 percent of his games and we don't want to revert back to the Rick Rodriguez or Brady Hoke days" camp. 

Ultimately, the debate is pointless.

Harbaugh isn't going anywhere, unless he wants to.

And why would he want to?

Harbaugh is paid more handsomely and has more influence and power in Ann Arbor than he would have at any NFL job.

Unless he is just simply fed up of dealing with a fan base that has sky-high expectations and is increasingly turning on him, then there's no reason for him to want to leave.

At this point, would an NFL team want to hire him anyway?

The UM administration certainly won't fire him, since they know Harbaugh is still a cash cow for the university, and, quite frankly, there probably isn't a better alternative out there.

For those who mention Urban Meyer, forget about it. 

Meyer won't turn his back on Ohio State like that and, if you believe all the buzz nationally, he probably has already consulted a realtor in California about good homes close to USC's campus once that job likely opens up after the season.

The debate about Harbaugh will rage on so long as the team continues to go without a conference title (its last one was in 2004) and stays out of playoff contention, but ultimately, none of it matters.

Harbaugh and U-M will likely be wed to one another for a long time. 

Offensive defense from Lions

All the talk about the bad officiating following the Green Bay loss seemed to mask an issue that's becoming more and more of a problem by the week for the Lions. 

What was supposed to be a team strength at the start of the year, the defense is an absolute sieve.

After the Vikings shredded the Lions for 503 yards of offense and 42 points in front an unhappy sellout crowd at Ford Field, the defensive numbers for the Lions are not pretty.

The Lions rank 31st out of 32 teams in yards allowed per game (428.7), are 26th in points allowed per game (26.7), 28th in rushing yards allowed per game (139.2), 30th in passing yards allowed per game (289.5) and are 27th with just 10 total sacks in six games. 

As a friendly reminder, the Lions hired a defensive-minded coach in Matt Patricia and spent lots of free-agent money on defensive players over the offseason, most notably, defensive end Trey Flowers (one sack, 12 tackles in six games).

Not good. 

Not good at all. 

Chips firing up MAC standings

Former Florida head coach Jim McElwain, who last year was on Harbaugh's staff at Michigan, has certainly made an impact in his first year at Central Michigan. 

After finishing 1-11 overall and going winless in MAC play last year, the Chippewas are 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the MAC West following a 38-20 road win at Bowling Green on Saturday.

CMU controls its own destiny to win the division and appear in the MAC championship game at Ford Field. 

The big game likely will be on Nov. 16 when the Chippewas will play at first-place Ball State. 

EMU tops WMU

Western Michigan beat Central Michigan. Central Michigan then beat Eastern Michigan.

Finally, Eastern Michigan recorded a 31-24 win over Western Michigan on Saturday to make it an even split of games between in-state MAC schools this season, with each home team winning.

EMU quarterback Preston Hutchinson was the big reason why the Eagles won, going 31-of-36 passing for 357 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. 

Prep football playoff pairings show on Sunday

Believe it or not, the regular season for prep football ends this week, and many teams around the state will have their seasons come to a close. 

But 256 teams will qualify for the state playoffs and anxiously view Sunday's playoff selection show on Fox Sports Detroit to see who their first-round opponents will be. 

There will be eight divisions consisting of 32 teams in each division based on enrollment figures of the teams that qualify.

For qualifying teams, it's just as exciting as the NCAA basketball selection show is in March for college basketball squads, with team parties and gatherings taking place around the state to watch the show with anticipation. 

The playoff pairings show will air from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
 


About the Author:

Keith Dunlap

Keith is a Web Content Producer/Editor for Graham Media Group with a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.