NFL Playoff Predictions: Only One Harbaugh Will Coach in Super Bowl

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IIJanuary 15, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 24:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh (L) of the San Francisco 49ers and his brother, head coach John Harbaugh (R) of the Baltimore Ravens stand next to each other before the start of their game at M&T Bank Stadium on November 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Jim Harbaugh will lead the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance with a win over the Atlanta Falcons. John Harbaugh, his brother, will again fail to get over the hump against the New England Patriots.

The NFL’s playoffs are about to come to a screeching halt, pending the climax of the AFC and NFC Championship Games on Sunday. Four teams remain, but only two can advance to New Orleans and compete in Super Bowl XLVII.

Of the remaining four head coaches, two are brothers and could find themselves competing against one another for Super Bowl glory.

But that’s not going to happen, you see.

There can be only one Harbaugh in the league’s big game, because the matchups just won’t allow a “Har-bowl” to happen.

Last year the two brothers found themselves in this position, and neither ended up punching their ticket to the big dance.

John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens were sent home by the New England Patriots. Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers were sent packing by the eventual champion New York Giants.

That was then and this is now, though.

One of the Harbaugh’s is going to New Orleans, and they might just end up winning the whole thing.

John, who Jim referred to as a “great football mind” back in an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2010, has the daunting task of beating one of the best football minds of our era.

Bill Belichick has done incredible things for the Patriots franchise, winning three Super Bowl rings in the process. He also brought them to two other Super Bowls, losing those to the Giants.

For those of you counting at home, that’s five trips to the biggest game in sports in 12 seasons. He’s also led his team to the postseason during 10 of those 12 seasons.

John Harbaugh may be a great football mind, but he’s up against the odds again this weekend.

Belichick’s team is 10-point favorites (via Bovada) and boasts one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game as their leader on the field.

Tom Brady will make things difficult for the Ravens, as he did earlier this season, despite losing at the last moment. Baltimore won that close and hard-fought game, but the Patriots have been rolling as of late.

Last week’s stomping of the Houston Texans is evidence of that.

On the NFC side of things, the 49ers are favorites to knock off the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons.

Is Jim as good of a coach as his brother? He didn’t think so back in 2010 in that same interview with Sports Illustrated.

"I'm probably half the coach he is." Jim Harbaugh said. "But I'm trying."

Making the decision to switch to Colin Kaepernick took a lot of courage and a lot of understanding of his team. Being a great coach means making those difficult decisions.

It’s hard to argue that the younger Harbaugh hasn't gained some ground on his elder, if it pays off with a Super Bowl win.

Atlanta is certainly a capable team, but with Kaepernick behind center the 49ers are a much more complete team. Their defense is stronger overall, and they should be able to roll to victory thanks to their offensive improvements.

One Harbaugh is headed to the Super Bowl.

Who do you think it is?