Jim Harbaugh, Michigan, The 49ers, & Stanford: Where Will The Other Shoe Drop?

Fooch's Note: Just to clarify, this only is a matter of "the other shoe" if Baalke is hired. If he's not the Harbaugh dynamic changes some.

As all of today's Trent Baalke reports have come out in the media, it's safe to say some folks here are on the verge of full-fledged fan mutiny. The main aspect of the potential Baalke hiring has been the idea that he can deliver Jim Harbaugh as head coach. This is all based on media speculation, but some folks have latched on to the idea that as long as the 49ers can get Harbaugh, the Baalke promotion wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

However, what happens if Jim Harbaugh decides to go to Michigan, stay at Stanford, or some random third option that involves a mystery party? I don't know of a mystery party, but I'm just saying, what if ends up somewhere other than with the 49ers? It's safe to say we might see a bit of an implosion here at Niners Nation. I know some folks are fine with Baalke on his own merits, but enough people aren't that it could get a little crazy.

I bring all this up because there are various bits of information that provide conflicting possibilities. None is particularly reliable, but given the insanity of today, why not look at them. The first was an amusing little tweet by Kawakami:

Weirdest twist I've heard: Nike could have role in Harbaugh choice. He's affiliated w-Nike, Michigan's Adidas school. NFL going Nike in '12.

This is probably the least likely reason for Harbaugh to not go to Michigan, but I thought it was worth at least mentioning.

The more significant thing is the idea that Michigan people are convinced that Harbaugh already has a deal in place with Michigan. Earlier today I was on The Huge Show, which is on a station that's part of the Michigan radio network. On the show we discussed the Jim Harbaugh situation and where he might end up. I had to give some background on the GM search, but it seemed like the hosts were definitely more interested in the simple question of where Jim Harbaugh would wind up.

What I found most interesting was how convinced the hosts were that Harbaugh had a done deal with Michigan. They indicated that most Michigan folks were convinced a deal was already in place. This is the second time I've heard this, with the first time coming from a Cal fan with "sources." Take it all with a grain of salt, but that certainly makes the Baalke news all the more interesting (or probably disheartening for some). I've been assuming that this GM search is going so fast because Jed is sufficiently interested in Harbaugh that he wants a team in place to make a deal happen before Michigan can close their deal. The next seven days will be incredibly busy and interesting for 49ers fans. Speculation will be incredibly rampant.

Stanford remains a possibility, but it seems like that possibility is getting slimmer by the day. Today Harbaugh declined to address his future. Earlier this month the Stanford Athletic Director indicated a deal was ready for Harbaugh and he was ready to accept it. However, in the past few days Harbaugh has indicated differently, stating that he hadn't discussed the contract with his boss:

After telling Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News "I haven't even discussed" the contract with his boss, Harbaugh was told about Bowlsby's comments that the coach plans to accept it.

"Maybe he misspoke," Harbaugh said.

(Is it getting chilly in here or is it just me?)

Although things might change, it seems like Harbaugh is leaving for somewhere. The question at this point is whether it's Michigan or the 49ers.

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