Another day, another Chargers-related rumor regarding Jim Harbaugh. The Michigan coach has seemingly been the favorite to be LA's next coach for a few weeks now, especially now that it's being reported that he'll interview with the team for a second time this week. There's been no shortage of rumor tweeting and podcast speculating about the hire, and on Monday's episode of Colin Cowherd's podcast, the Fox Sports personality talked a little bit with John Middlekauff about what they've heard recently:
"So Atlanta and the Chargers are announcing everybody that they interview," he said. "They want it out there. And I think some of that is that if they don't land Harbaugh or Belichick, they want their fans to know that, 'Hey, we swung big.' I was told by somebody that I trust, that he really thinks the Chargers are going to pay for Harbaugh. He really believes it."
Cowherd went on to point out all the main reasons why Harbaugh would leave Michigan for the NFL: mainly that he doesn't have anything else to prove, the Big 10 isn't getting any easier going forward, and between players leaving and the NCAA circling, Michigan's next few years may not be as rosy as the last couple. He then asks for Middlekauff's take, which is a bit more convincing for the Harbaugh-To-LA entusiasts out there:
"I fully expect him to leave," he said. "Everyone that I've been talking to thinks this Harbaugh-to-the-Chargers deal, as long as he's cool with it, has been a done deal for a while. There were rumors that they talked during that Rose Bowl week. I think clearly the Chargers, there's so much negativity. How long can you be called cheap and irrelevant before you draw a line in the sand? We've talked so much about the money, these are just line items to him. I think he kind of decided on that, more than likely, a long time ago – that he was coming back to the NFL. Once he kind of saw the landscape, that was the choice."
Hm. That's an awful lot of speculation for two different conversations with people that Cowherd and Middlekauff supposedly trust a bunch, but who knows! Typically, where there's smoke there's fire, and these two are by no means the only ones to have heard about the Harbaugh-Chargers connection. ESPN's Dan Graziano, who's probably a little more plugged in than either Cowherd or Middlekauff, echoed the same sentiment in a coaching predictions column he wrote late last week. So, depending on who you believe, it sure seems like the hiring process is ramping up a bit more this week.