Jim Harbaugh: 10 Reasons Why the 49ers Job Is a Better Move Than Michigan

Allen KimSenior Analyst IJanuary 3, 2011

Jim Harbaugh: 10 Reasons Why the 49ers Job Is a Better Move Than Michigan

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    Jim Harbaugh is at the top of the list for the San Francisco 49ers' vacant head coaching gig, but they'll be getting some heavy competition from the University of Michigan.

    Harbaugh is one of the hottest head coaching candidates in the NFL, and he'll have his pick between two very prestigious organizations.

    While Harbaugh would have many perks and opportunities with Michigan, the San Francisco 49ers head coaching position is a much better job.

10. He Can Join His Brother in the NFL Head Coaching Fraternity

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    The NFL head coaching fraternity is an exclusive list. Jim Harbaugh would finally have an opportunity to join that very list and become part of a much bigger organization.

    While there is a lot of turnover at the coaching position in the NFL, the opening in San Francisco presents a very attractive option for Harbaugh.

    Jim's brother, John, has had tremendous success through his first three years in the NFL, and there's no reason to think that Jim cannot replicate some of that with the right pieces in place.

9. He Doesn't Have to Go Very Far

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    San Francisco is about a 37-mile drive north of Palo Alto.

    If he were to take on the 49ers' head coaching gig, he wouldn't even have to move his family anywhere.

    The drive is less than an hour, and the commute allows him to stay where he feels the most comfortable.

    If he were to take on the Michigan job, he'd have to move his family to another state, and a very cold one at that.

    Would you leave the sun and warm weather for clouds and cold winds?

8. NFL Is More Glamorous

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    Football is the most popular sport in the United States, and the NFL is the most popular league.

    Sure, college football is on the national stage and has a strong fanbase, but it doesn't match up to the pro ranks.

    The NFL enjoys much more success, popularity, media coverage and praise than any other league in the United States.

7. He Wouldn't Have to Deal with the Bowl System

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    The bowl system in place for college football is broken and needs to be replaced.

    On a year-to-year basis, the best team across the college landscape is never truly determined without a playoff system.

    If Harbaugh opted for the NFL, he wouldn't have to deal with all the shady politics and general ineptness of the bowl system.

6. He Can Carry on Bill Walsh's Legacy

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    The legendary Bill Walsh cut his teeth at Stanford before making his way to the San Francisco 49ers.

    While with the 49ers, Walsh put his stamp on the league with a Hall of Fame career that saw him walk away with three Super Bowl victories from his first and only head coaching gig in the NFL.

    Jim Harbaugh also happens to utilize a "West Coast offense" much like Walsh. While there are some fundamental differences between Walsh and Harbaugh's systems, the philosophy is generally the same.

    Harbaugh may be the man to return the San Francisco 49ers to glory.

5. Opens Up More Doors

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    If Jim Harbaugh were to enjoy success as an NFL head coach, it could potentially pave the way for more opportunities that he wouldn't have with Michigan.

    Down the line, Harbaugh may have a chance to take up an executive front office position with an NFL team—a position that could keep him involved in football but away from the stressful position of head coach.

4. He Already Runs a Pro-Style System

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    Jim Harbaugh employs a pro-style offense that would make his transition to the NFL seamless. He runs the popular "West Coast offense" that has seen great success in the NFL.

    His style is not predicated on option plays and spread offenses, which separates him from most college coaches.

    The NFL generally focuses on the passing attack, and Harbaugh may have an opportunity to groom his very own quarterback.

3. 49ers Have a Good Foundation in Place

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    Despite the San Francisco 49ers' poor season, the team has a solid foundation in place for whoever takes over as head coach.

    The defense is anchored by arguably the best linebacker in the NFL in Patrick Willis, and the offense features dynamic playmakers in Frank Gore, Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree.

    The main issue lies at the quarterback position, which could be answered in one of two ways. First, they could go after someone like Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb. If Harbaugh is uninterested in either of them, they could opt to draft a quarterback, where he would have the opportunity to mold him to his liking.

2. NFC West Is Wide Open

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    The NFC West not only has the first sub-.500 team to win the division, but also the first to get into the NFL playoffs with a losing record.

    The NFC West is by far the weakest division in the NFL, and prior to the start of the season the San Francisco 49ers were widely considered to be the top dog.

    If Jim Harbaugh were able to make improvements over Mike Singletary, the division could be theirs for the taking.

1. NFL Is More Rewarding

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    Super Bowl or college football national championship? Would you even have to think twice about which of the two is the better prize?

    All the bowl games being added to the schedule dilute the appeal of winning a bowl game even more.

    Success in college football doesn't come even remotely close to being as rewarding as enjoying success in the NFL.