The Michigan Wolverines kick off their regular season against the East Carolina Pirates on Sept. 2 at the Big House, but Jim Harbaugh will not be on the sidelines coaching. He’ll be serving the first of his three-game suspension.
A lot has been said about the validity of the suspension, both when it was being brought down by the NCAA, and now by the program. But for the first time, one of the Wolverines’ opponents’ head coaches has made some comments about not seeing Harbaugh on the other sideline.
East Carolina head coach Mike Houston told reporters earlier this week he thought the situation was “kind of silly, to be honest. If you want to punish him, punish him and figure it out in the offseason. Quit going back and forth like this.”
Clearly, Harbaugh won’t be on the sidelines for the first three weeks. He and the program announced on Thursday that Jesse Minter will take over as the head coach for the ECU game. His father, Jack Harbaugh, will also have a role as assistant head coach for each of the first three weeks of the season.
Houston downplayed the fact Harbaugh would not be on the sideline for a plethora of reasons.
“He’s going to coach throughout the week. I don’t think it’s going to make a significant difference on game day one way or the other,” Houston continued in his talks with reporters. “(Harbaugh) has a staff that’s been with him a while ... I’d just assume he’d be across the field.”
The oddsmakers don’t seem to think it will be that large of a difference either. The line has actually moved in the Wolverines’ favor even further since Harbaugh was suspended. It now sits at a staggering 36 points on the side of Michigan.