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Home Sports Michigan-OSU: How Karan Higdon’s ‘guarantee’ differs from Jim Harbaugh’s

Michigan-OSU: How Karan Higdon’s ‘guarantee’ differs from Jim Harbaugh’s



Michigan working again Karan Higdon speaks to the media on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in Ann Arbor in preparing for the activity towards Ohio State.
Nick Baumgardner, Freep

Two guarantees. Two circumstances. 

Identical assurance powering them.

In 1986, Michigan senior co-captain Jim Harbaugh let it be recognized that a Michigan victory at Ohio Stadium, from Ohio Point out, was taking place. He certain it.

On Monday, Michigan senior co-captain Karan Higdon was questioned by a reporter to do the very same matter. So he did.

The instances surrounding the two times could not be additional various.

When Harbaugh made his assert, Michigan had just been overwhelmed by Minnesota in a stunning reduction on senior working day. U-M’s undefeated year was no more, and the Wolverines had been staring at the probability of viewing their Significant 10 title hopes vanish a 7 days later on in Columbus.

Extra than that, about one hundred miles west of Ann Arbor, Harbaugh’s father, Jack, was about to be fired from his head coaching position at Western Michigan. It was a move Bo Schembechler would simply call “one of the tragedies of sport” right before declaring, as soon as again, the WMU put up “the worst job in The united states.” Jim had uncovered out what was about to come about the weekend in advance of the Ohio Condition game.

Asked about the ensure by a Absolutely free Push reporter at the time, Jack presented an additional layer to the story. Section of his son’s warranty, he stated, was to consider any damaging highlight off dad and place it on his personal shoulders.

“I know why he did that,” Jack said. “He did that for me.”  

Harbaugh supplied his guarantee unprovoked.

Higdon, with a litany of cameras pointed at him in look for of a juicy soundbite, was questioned directly irrespective of whether he would be keen to make the same warranty. A fairly difficult query for a participant to reply.

If he says no, he’s accused of not getting self-assured about his staff. If he says indeed, he’s accused of getting far too daring and careless in the ever-popular game of bulletin-board materials.

The situations have been markedly distinct.

But the individuals declaring all those words and phrases are incredibly similar.


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Harbaugh produced his identify in football by becoming unflinchingly self-assured in his skill and, as a end result, was considered a legitimate “by-example” leader.

Higdon, in that respect, is exactly the identical.

This is a participant who informed reporters at the close of the 2017 year he’d think about coming into his identify into the NFL draft. Some admirers snickered, but Higdon was really serious. Mainly because he was absolutely self-confident in his ability as a participant. A 12 months later on, Higdon’s outlined as just one of the top available jogging backs in the draft.

He said just before the time he came again to college to break 1,000 yards speeding. 

That only took him nine game titles. 

As an unheralded 3-star recruit, Higdon missed his late-night time airplane to Ann Arbor for a winter season recruiting visit due to the fact the trip was prepared final minute and he experienced to do the job. So he woke up at 2 a.m., caught the earliest flight offered in close proximity to his Florida household and flew into a snowstorm. He has competed with five-star potential customers and touted backs for four many years. 

He has topped them all. 

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Did he go out of his way Monday to assure a victory in the greatest video game of the period? No, he didn’t. But when asked the unachievable question, immediately after briefly pausing, he experienced tiny dilemma pushing all his chips towards the middle. He place his title on it. For the reason that he’s self-confident.

In himself and his teammates.

“Yeah, I do. I do,” Higdon mentioned Monday. “That’s how I feel. I imagine firmly in my brothers, this crew and this coaching personnel. 

“As a captain, I’ll choose that stand. Why not?” 

Why not is ideal. 

Harbaugh’s 1986 group entered the Ohio Point out activity a bit wounded. Higdon’s staff is soaring. 

Michigan has been the Significant Ten’s greatest and most consistent staff during conference play this season. The Wolverines are outscoring opponents by an average of more than 25 factors for every activity. They’ve won on the road. They’ve overcome adverse cases. They’re battle-examined and appear to be as well prepared as any Michigan staff entering an Ohio Condition match in at least the previous decade. Probably for a longer time. 

In 1986, Harbaugh built a warranty and ultimately walked the walk. His workforce defeat Ohio Point out and went to the Rose Bowl. On Monday, Higdon was asked to make the same promise, and he did. 

Higdon’s “assurance” just isn’t the very same as Harbaugh’s. 

But like his head mentor 32 yrs ago, he possibly doesn’t care what any one thinks about it. He wouldn’t have reported it if he did not necessarily mean it. And you can find minimal evidence to recommend he’ll at any time regret declaring it. 

Call Nick Baumgardner: [email protected] Stick to him on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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