Like most Bay Area FB fans when I saw that 49ers Team President & future CEO Jed York had a low key lunch at York's pvt. SF club + a 2nd meeting with Harbaugh last wk. I assumed it was all but a done deal that Harbaugh was going to be choosing from among several NFL teams to be their next HC in 2011 as soon as Stanford plays in the Orange Bowl in 3 wks.
But then I read this in the current PFW issue from their Audibles column that features quotes from NFL coaches, scouts & FO personnel on the condition of anonymity:
Harbaugh is going to demand some cash. If he goes to Michigan & wins,he will still be a hot (NFL) commodity. Alumni are stacking the deck. Collge jobs have become a lot more lucrative & & have a lot more perks than they used to.
The Harbaugh bros. are a well known FB family who are all Ann Arbor natives with a vast network of NFL & college connections. And Harbaugh, although remunerated with a big pay raise last offseason by Stanford, knows full well he can start an NFL bidding war, in fact may have already starting the total bids off & running with his face to face meeting with York.
The Michigan alumni know this too & are apparantly gong to match the NFL salary offers, so the questions are:
Is he going to Michigan or an NFL team?
How much will it take for either?
I'm thinking the $4-5M/yr. range, which in college salary ranking would put him alongside Texas' Mack Brown (highest paid in the NCAA at $5.1M annually), Bob Stoops at Oklahoma ($4.3M), Meyer's former Florida salary ($4M), Lane Kiffin at USC ($4M), & Saban at Alabama ($3.9M). Michigan is a huge & wealthy program.
Here btw are the Top 100 college HCs' salaries ranked:
I don't think his NFL salary would be near the very lucrative top NFL coaches' salaries though -- Bellichick at $7.5M/yr. at NE, Shanahan at $7M for Dan Snyder & the Redskins & Pete Carroll also $7M with Seattle. He mght be close though to Jeff Fisher at $5.75M with Tennessee & Tom Coughlin at $5.25M with he NY Giants.
Of course to continue to be an NFL hot commodity he has to win at Michigan & that means recruiting in the top-ranked classes. If he can win at Stanford with their much more restrictive academic requirements (note also that Stanford does not take Juco transfers) by recruiting the entire nation & being a conferene title contender in the Pac 10 the last 2 yrs. with a Heisman Finalist in Toby Gerhart, he can probably do the same in the expanding Big 10 at his alma mater Michigan.