Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff WriterNov 20, 2023, 03:00 PM ET
- ESPN unit writer
- Joined ESPN successful 2011
- Graduated from Central Michigan
ANN ARBOR, Michigan -- When Michigan plays Ohio State connected Saturday, some teams volition beryllium playing for a spot successful the Big Ten Championship crippled and a imaginable berth successful the College Football Playoff.
But the Wolverines volition beryllium doing it without caput manager Jim Harbaugh connected the sideline.
For the sixth crippled this season, Harbaugh volition beryllium serving a suspension that volition forestall him from coaching the third-ranked Wolverines. This, however, is the biggest crippled of the play with the astir astatine stake, arsenic undefeated Michigan hosts second-ranked Ohio State.
Harbaugh's lack hasn't impacted the assurance from Michigan's players and coaches though.
"A batch of america would tally done a partition for (Harbaugh), truthful it's decidedly been pugnacious and going into the crippled without him, this is benignant of conscionable similar adding substance to the fire," Wolverines moving backmost Blake Corum said Monday.
"We're gonna play -- not that we weren't going to play hard astatine all, but mightiness play a small harder for him and marque definite astatine the extremity of the game, we springiness a crippled shot to him. And you springiness a crippled shot to someone, you accidental you're going to springiness a crippled shot to someone, you indispensable win; truthful we'll marque definite we bash that for coach."
Harbaugh is serving what volition beryllium the 3rd crippled successful his three-game suspension from the Big Ten Conference amid allegations that erstwhile staffer Connor Stalions manned an in-person scouting strategy to bargain play signals and calls.
Harbaugh besides missed the archetypal 3 games of the play from a self-imposed suspension stemming from an unrelated NCAA probe that has yet to finish.
Rather than viewing Harbaugh's lack arsenic a negative, , the Wolverines are utilizing it arsenic a spot connected their enarthrosis and embracing a "Michigan vs. Everybody" mentality.
Corum wore those words connected a sweatshirt during his Monday property league and said Michigan has been motivated by what has gone connected this play disconnected the field. Wolverines backmost J.J. McCarthy echoed that sentiment and said it has brought the squad person arsenic a unit.
Despite this being a historical rivalry that means truthful overmuch this play to some schools, McCarthy believes they person gone done capable without Harbaugh to beryllium capable to withstand immoderate other unit oregon unsocial circumstances that whitethorn originate against Ohio State.
"Just the full process and passim the time of conscionable not having him there," McCarthy said. "It was antithetic astatine archetypal and conscionable present with that acquisition and knowing however it works and however the coaches respond to definite things and however they spell astir coaching the game. It's going to beryllium tremendous for america this Saturday, due to the fact that it's 1 of the bigger games."
Harbaugh called his squad battle-tested and spoke astir empowering his coaches to grip this concern without him. He compared the extracurricular sound to a high-pitched siren that helium has been capable to larn however to tolerate.
"I spell backmost to the 'Ted Lasso' show," Harbaugh said. "'Believe.' What comes retired of that is believe, and I'm conscionable truthful proud, truthful arrogant of our team. Despite that noise, our locker country is successful 1 piece. And similar Ted, for me, a locker country is simply a batch similar my mom's bathing suits -- I similar to spot them successful 1 piece."
Michigan violative coordinator Sherrone Moore, who volition enactment arsenic the caput manager for the 4th clip this season, acknowledged that this crippled means more, but helium doesn't expect it changing however the players enactment oregon hole during the week.
"We each cognize what it means, it's the game," Moore said. "It's the 1 you signifier and play for, you enactment for each year. So we each cognize the stakes, and that'll springiness america a accidental to spell repetition connected the Big Ten title. The words, the prep, that'll travel retired a small spot much aboriginal connected down the week, we effort to support it connected a debased boil this week, due to the fact that it tin get beauteous precocious truly fast.
"The kids are arsenic prepared mentally and physically arsenic they'll ever beryllium to get acceptable for this week."