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"Harbaugh effect" is going to be a year-long story

The San Francisco 49ers dropped to 1-4 this past Sunday with a brutal loss to the New York Giants, and now they prepare to face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. Both teams are struggling, but the slightly bigger story is the 49ers quick demise following Jim Harbaugh's departure as head coach.

It is kind of fitting timing for this matchup against the John Harbaugh-led Ravens. The day before, Jim will lead his No. 12 ranked Michigan Wolverines against No. 7 ranked Michigan State. Michigan lost their season opener to Utah, but has since won five straight, all in dominant fashion. They have posted three straight shutouts, two coming against a ranked BYU and a ranked Northwestern. And considering Utah is undefeated with wins over Oregon and Cal, that touchdown loss to Utah is not looking particularly bad. And now, the Westgate LV SuperBook has Michigan at 10-to-1 to win college football's national championship, and the 49ers at 500-to-1 to win the Super Bowl.

I bring all this up because of an interesting article over at ESPN. Dan Murphy wrote something titled "The Harbaugh Effect is in full effect at Michigan". The Wolverines are rolling, and the turnaround is along the lines of what we saw Harbaugh do in his first year with the 49ers. He took time to turn San Diego into a strong FCS program, and it also took time at Stanford. In San Francisco and Michigan, the Harbaugh effect has led to almost immediate resurgences. It is worth a read.

I came across the article through this Bay Area Sports Guy article. It was included in the Nuggets, but I wanted to pull it out and highly recommend you give it a read. Steve does a fantastic job taking that ESPN article and putting it in the context of Harbaugh's time with the 49ers, and subsequent departure. He talked about Harbaugh being a guy that will drive his players to their limits. There is value to that in college where players are gone after three or four years, but obviously that can be more difficult in the NFL. This might be my favorite paragraph in Steve's article:

If the 49ers wanted to bounce back with Baalke's "reloaded" roster, the answer wasn't to keep a so-called players' coach with whom everyone was familiar, and let the team know that things would be easier from now on. They should've either gone out and gotten the best offensive mind possible, or hired another nose-to-the-grindstone type that would spend every day reminding the players that they needed to work even harder to withstand all of the post-Harbaugh departures.

Give it a read.