.@CBSSports' 2022 College Football Coach Rankings are here and Nick Saban maintains the No. 1 spot— 247Sports (@247Sports) May 18, 2022
Who do y'all think should be higher?
FULL TOP 25 ➡️ https://t.co/diXMAQOwjL pic.twitter.com/zs4O0dgHxJ
Jim Harbaugh is ranked ninth on the annual list, a 14-spot jump from his No. 23 ranking last season. This movement is the highest positive jump of any coach in the top 10 and the fourth-highest of any coach inside the top-25.
While this will come as no surprise to most, others — specifically those in East Lansing — will be voicing their outrage to this arbitrary list in 240 characters or less online. But let’s examine some of the reasoning that contributed to Harbaugh’s positioning on this list.
Harbaugh is the reigning AP Coach of the Year and guided an unranked team with middling aspirations to a Big Ten Championship and the program’s first College Football Playoff appearance. They became the first team in the CFP era to start a season unranked and finish in the final four.
Michigan’s conference championship was the first in Ann Arbor since 2004 and the first outright Big Ten Championship since 2003. Not to mention, Michigan beat the Ohio State Buckeyes for the first time since 2011 and handed them their worst regular season loss since 2018.
Don't let Jimbo Fisher's outlandish comments distract you from the fact that Ryan Day vowed to hang 100 on Michigan, only to lose to the Wolverines by 15 points in a winner-takes-all regular-season finale for a berth to the Big Ten Championship Game.— Scott Bell (@sbell021) May 19, 2022
Jimbo vs. Saban is incredible
While Harbaugh’s positioning is important to note, the biggest story in the coaching circles this week comes between former friends and the No. 1 and No. 5 ranked coaches on this list: Alabama’s Nick Saban and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher.
The drama began when on Wednesday night — Saban ripped into the Texas A&M football program. When discussing NIL opportunities and how the recruiting landscape has changed, Saban offered: “You read about it, you know who they are. We were second in recruiting last year. A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team.”
This was a part of a nearly seven-minute answer that came off bitter and would undoubtedly ruffle some feathers in College Station and college football at large. The following day, not even 24 hours later, Fisher responded at a press conference that felt more professional wrestling than college football.
In a press conference that lasted about 10 minutes, Fisher went scorched Earth on his former boss: “It’s despicable that a reputable head coach can come out and say this when he doesn’t get his way or things don’t go his way. The narcissist in him doesn’t allow those things to happen. It’s ridiculous when he’s not on top. And the parity in college football that he’s been talking about? Go talk to coaches who’ve coached for him. You’ll find out all the parity. Go dig into wherever he’s been. You can find out anything.”
Fisher continued: “You can call me anything you want to call me. You ain’t call me a cheat. I don’t cheat and I don’t lie. I learned that when I was a kid, if you did that, your old man slapped you ‘side the head. Maybe somebody should have slapped him [Nick Saban],”
When asked about Saban trying to call him after his comments in Birmingham, Fisher concisely summed up the current state of their relationship: “We’re done. He showed you who he is.”
Bobby Heenan would be proud.
State of Michigan Sports
- Pride of Detroit: Why the Detroit Lions may have gotten a steal in Malcolm Rodriguez
- Detroit Bad Boys: Cade Cunningham named to All-Rookie First Team