Stanford Coach on Everyone's Short List

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Stanford's Jim Harbaugh is the hot new coaching candidate.

    You'd better enjoy watching head coach Jim Harbaugh roam the sidelines at this weekend's game against Cal, Stanford fans. This Big Game could be his last.

    It's not that he might be fired, in fact, it's the complete opposite. The San Jose Mercury News reports that Stanford is trying like mad to sign Harbaugh to an extension that would make him the highest-paid Stanford coach ever.

    But Harbaugh is now the most sought-after coaching candidate in football, and is being associated with every NFL and NCAA football program in the country with a presumably-doomed head coach.

    Demolishing USC by 34 points will do that.

    Ann Killion describes Harbaugh on SI.com as "the hottest coach in all of football", and she's not just talking about his looks."Harbaugh is at the top of many short lists," Ms. Killion writes, "His name is cropping up in the speculation surrounding Notre Dame."

    Harbaugh's name is also cropping up at his alma mater, the University of Michigan. But Harbaugh himself cropped that talk down with some comments in 2007 about the school's admissions policy.

    "Michigan is a good school and I got a good education there,” Harbaugh told the San Francisco Examiner, “but the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in and, when they’re in, they steer them to courses in sports communications."

    Leland G. Snap! That's the rhetorical equivalent of going for a two-point conversion with a 27-point lead.

    And no discussion of replacing coaches could be complete without a mention of our own Oakland Raiders. Recall that Harbaugh was the quarterbacks coach for the Raiders in the 2002 season, the last time the Raiders went to the Super Bowl. And the AFC West standings indicate this season's Raiders aren't too concerned with this year's Super Bowl.

    If Al Davis is smart, he might want to be more concerned with a guy coaching this year's Big Game.

    Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who's a little sore over that jab at people who take Sports Communications classes.