Jim Harbaugh Decision Down to Stanford or San Francisco 49ers

Matt WagnerCorrespondent IIJanuary 7, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 03: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates as he is lifted up by his players after Stanford won 40-12 against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Stanford University head football coach Jim Harbaugh has become a much sought-after coach in recent days, as his name was mentioned in connection with the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, the University of Michigan or, of course, returning to Stanford.

According to a source, that decision seems to be down to two options: joining the San Francisco 49ers or returning to Stanford next season. The source also said that Stanford is now the favorite to retain Harbaugh's services.

This is a huge turn from it being highly unlikely that Harbaugh would stay in the college ranks to him staying at Stanford seemingly becoming inevitable. 

Of course, the shocking return of Andrew Luck to the Cardinal may have something to do with that. The projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft shocked the football world yesterday by announcing that he would not declare for the draft and would return to Stanford.

Concerning Harbaugh, a decision regarding his coaching future could come as soon as today.

If Stanford ultimately retains Harbaugh, the projected 2011 preseason Top Five team could become the favorite to win the BCS national championship next season, as with the return of Luck, Stanford could be the most talented team in college football next season.

Of course, a decision has not been made yet, but what Jim Harbaugh eventually decides could ultimately determine the result of the 2011-2012 college football season.

Where do you think Jim Harbaugh will end up? With Stanford? With the San Francisco 49ers or a "dark horse" team? Sound off in the "Comments" section.