Well, the San Francisco 49ers season finale just got a lot more interesting. The 49ers have nothing to play for in terms of the playoffs, but suddenly their coaching situation will make for an interesting dynamic. CSN Bay Area's Dave Feldman confirmed that Jim Harbaugh will be named the next head coach of the University of Michigan, and will be introduced at a press conference on Tuesday.
Although the move is not official yet, Feldman is as good a source for this as anybody. He has been friends with Feldman since high school. Jay Glazer and others will get in their reports, but as far as I'm concerned, Feldman is enough of a source on this.
The big question now is whether or not Jim Harbaugh will coach the 49ers regular season finale. With it all but official that Harbaugh is out the door, it does set up a weird dynamic for all parties involved. Tim Kawakami raised some good points after Feldman's tweet. TK's point was that Harbaugh has basically done what the 49ers want, in terms of likely resigning and leaving the NFL. The 49ers would not owe him any more money, and they would not have to worry about him reviving the Raiders (or anybody else) in the near future. TK suggested that was reason enough to let Harbaugh coach the final game and go out on his own terms.
That actually makes a lot of sense, but given how this whole situation has gone down over the last few months, I don't think anything would really surprise me. The 49ers front office has not exactly handled this situation with aplomb, so would it really surprise anybody if they tried to work it out so Harbaugh did not coach tomorrow. Bay Area Sports Guy made a good point about how it would make Jed York and Trent Baalke look particularly weak.
BASG and others have already mentioned Jim Tomsula as a potential interim coach, but I still think Harbaugh is on the sideline. My guess is he has had a discussion with York and Baalke, and his decision to resign and not force a firing (and thus continued payment on his contract) includes him coaching the final game. We'll find out for certain at some point between now and 1:25 p.m. PT on Sunday.
One little post-script. This is my favorite tweet so far:
"@gobears99: @MikeSilver any chance we get @SteveMariucci to coach the 49'ers tomorrow?" Sorry, he's ours @nflnetwork— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) December 28, 2014