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Jim Harbaugh named to 2018 Dodd Trophy preseason watch list

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Coach Harbaugh joins elite coaches on the list.

NCAA Football: Air Force at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

As the summer drags on, we are beginning to see that thing everyone loves — preseason watch lists.

Last week, Devin Bush was named a preseason first-team All-American by Sporting News. Now, his coach made the watch list for one of the most coveted trophies in college football.

It was announced Wednesday afternoon Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was named to the preseason watch list for the 2018 Dodd Trophy. The announcement was made by The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

The Dodd Trophy is given to a head coach “who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s coaching philosophy,” according to a press release sent by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

“The Dodd Trophy distinguishes itself from other coaching awards due to the high standards used to determine potential candidates,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “This is the most coveted coaching award because it looks beyond rankings, wins or losses, and measures the overall impact these coaches have on their players, universities and communities.”

Harbaugh and 19 other coaches made it onto this year’s list. The other Big Ten coaches to appear on the list are Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Penn State’s James Franklin. Other notable coaches include Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Alabama’s Nick Saban, and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.

David Shaw of Stanford, who also made this year’s list, won the trophy last year.

A coach who is in his first year with his current team is not eligible to win, which may be why Nebraska’s Scott Frost is not on the list. Unfortunately for Mark Dantonio and our friends over in East Lansing, I don’t have an excuse to give them.

The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl created the watch list by considering each program’s graduation rate, commitment to service and charity in the community and projected success for the 2018 season and Academic Progress Rate.

The graduation rate and community/charity work is already in place for Harbaugh, so it sounds like all he needs is a great season on the gridiron to be strongly considered for the award.

The winning coach will be announced the week of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.