The lingering question of whether or not Jim Harbaugh will join the NFL (and coach the Chargers) is overshadowing the veteran head coach as he prepares his Michigan team for the College Football Playoff.
Harbaugh has been loosely attached to the Chargers all season as Brandon Staley's seat got warmer and was even asked about the Chargers job specifically during his media availability leading up to the Rose Bowl. Harbaugh danced around the question but didn't do anything to quell the rumors that he would coach the Chargers.
Chargers fans are going to have to wait for Michigan's season to end to get any concrete reports and the next several weeks will likely be a rollercoaster. That is what you sign up for when you are attached to such a big name.
Harbaugh coaching the Bolts next season might be more likely than some fans realize, though. According to Chris Simms, Harbaugh was trying to manufacture his way to the Chargers job last year as Staley's job security was in question and even almost took the job with the Denver Broncos that Sean Payton ultimately took.
Chargers hiring Jim Harbaugh may not be a question of if, but when
Of course, nothing can be taken as the cold hard truth when it comes to Harbaugh's situation. He has flirted with the NFL several times in the past and just like he reportedly did with the Broncos, he has the ability to change his mind and stay at Michigan.
Ultimately, the ball is in Harbaugh's court and if he really wanted to he could line up the job with the Chargers just so he can have more leverage and get more money from Michigan. But after everything that has surrounded Michigan this season, Harbaugh may actually be using the university to leverage the Chargers.
If this intel from Simms is to be believed then Harbaugh joining the Chargers might be inevitable. That is not to say that there won't be twists and turns and differing reports that cloud the situation. But if Harbaugh was genuinely trying to get the job last year, then it is hard to see him completely turning it down now that it is open.
After all, Harbaugh's love for Justin Herbert has been made public and he has ties with the organization (and the city of San Diego, specifically). If there ever was a time to jump back to the NFL it would be now. There is not going to be a situation that is ever better than this Chargers situation for Harbaugh.
If Harbaugh doesn't get hired by the Chargers then it is probably safe to say that he will never coach in the NFL again. But fans may not have to worry about that reality after the bomb that Simms just dropped.