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Jim Harbaugh returning to Michigan football odds fallout: Wolverines' 2022 win total set at 9.5

Michigan will not have to look for a new head coach after all.
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According to multiple reports, Jim Harbaugh was ready to take the Minnesota Vikings head coaching job if he got a Jon Gruden-type offer: Complete control of team personnel and a $100 million contract. Apparently, that was too rich for the Vikings' blood as they never offered Harbaugh the job, and he has informed Michigan that he will return for the 2022 season. SportsLine lists UM's win total at Over/Under 9.5 for next season.

Rather strangely, Harbaugh chose to interview with the Vikings on Wednesday, which was also National Signing Day. That's not as important as it used to be because of the early signing period, but a head coach not even on his campus on NSD is unheard of. ESPN reported that Harbaugh had been planning for his interview with the Vikings as if he was going to be hired and prepared his exit from Michigan by speaking with recruits about the possibility of his return to the NFL.

Michigan still did quite well recruiting-wise, ranking No. 9 overall via sister-site 247Sports for the Class of 2022. The top recruit was five-star cornerback Will Johnson from outside Detroit.

Harbaugh had never won a conference title in his stops at San Diego, Stanford and Michigan until last season. The Wolverines upset Ohio State in the regular-season finale for Harbaugh's first win over the Buckeyes and then crushed Iowa in the Big Ten title game before being dominated in the College Football Playoff semifinal by eventual champion Georgia.

The Wolverines had a win total of just 7.5 last season and shot past that with 11 regular-season victories, the only loss at Michigan State.

Harbaugh lost a lot defensively off that team, led by star pass-rushers Aidan Hutchinson (Heisman Trophy runner-up) and David Ojabo and defensive back Daxton Hill. Hutchinson set a school record with 14 sacks, while Ojabo had 11. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald also left … to join Harbaugh's brother John with the Baltimore Ravens. 

The major loss offensively was running back Hassan Haskins, who rushed for 1,327 yards and 20 touchdowns. Quarterback Cade McNamara is back – he is +7500 at Caesars Sportsbook to win the Heisman -- as is second-leading rusher Blake Corum (also +7500 for Heisman) and big-play receiver Ronnie Bell, who was lost early in the 2021 season to injury. Also returning in a minor surprise is kicker Jake Moody, winner of the 2021 Lou Groza Award. Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis was the favorite to replace Harbaugh. 

Michigan's non-conference schedule is a piece of cake and all at home: Colorado State, Hawaii and UConn. The Wolverines almost surely will be 4-0 when they visit Iowa in a Big Ten title rematch on Oct. 1. The only other road games are Indiana, Rutgers and Ohio State. UM avoids Wisconsin and Minnesota from the West. It's obviously early, but Michigan should be favored in every game but at Ohio State and perhaps at Iowa. 

To win the national championship, Michigan is +3000.

Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Michigan's 2022 regular-season win total

  • Over 9.5 -110
  • Under 9.5 -110

Michigan's 2022 schedule

  • Sept 3 vs. Colorado State
  • Sept. 10 vs. Hawaii
  • Sept. 17 vs. UConn
  • Sept. 24 vs. Maryland
  • Sept. 24 at Iowa
  • Oct. 8 at Indiana
  • Oct. 15 vs. Penn State
  • Oct. 29 vs. Michigan State
  • Nov. 5 at Rutgers
  • Nov. 12 vs. Nebraska
  • Nov. 19 vs. Illinois
  • Nov. 26 at Ohio State

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