Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh took a dig Thursday at former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who retired last season in the wake of a scandal involving domestic violence allegations against a former assistant.
“Urban Meyer’s had a winning record. Really phenomenal record everywhere he’s been,” Harbaugh said on The Athletic’s “The TK Show” podcast. “But also, controversy follows everywhere he’s been.”
Harbaugh, who will speak Friday during Big Ten media days, went 0-4 against Meyer. He says those who criticize his inability to win the big one, and especially to beat Ohio State, have a right to complain.
“You welcome the accountability,” Harbaugh said. “All you can be judged on is your record — what your record is overall, what your record is in your conference, and what your record is in head-to-head matchups with other teams that you play. I think you’ll find that right now Ohio State is the only team that has a better record than us, has a better conference record than us, has the better overall head-to-head matchup with us.
“Yeah, we are — we talk about the goals that we have. We have two: win multiple championships and run a first-class program. That’s what we aspire to. We’re learning and we take accountability and we learn from it. Hope springs eternal, and we’re fired up for this season going forward. It’s been good, and now we’re gonna take it over the top.”
Harbaugh has a 38-14 record since taking over at Michigan in 2015. He has brought Michigan into the national conversation but has fallen short of taking the Wolverines to the next level. To do that, he will need to beat Ohio State.
Ryan Day has taken over in Columbus following Meyer’s resignation.
Meyer, 55, will have a role as an analyst on FOX’s college football show in the fall. He was the Buckeyes’ coach for seven seasons and won a national title in 2014, but last season began with a three-game suspension following an investigation into his handling of allegations of domestic abuse against former assistant Zach Smith. Meyer returned and finished the regular season, then announced his retirement Dec. 4. He coached his final game in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.
He also experienced success and controversy as head coach at Florida. He won two titles with the Gators but was criticized for the number of off-the-field incidents involving his players. Over six seasons, 31 of his players were arrested, some on serious charges.
The Buckeyes will play the Wolverines in Ann Arbor on Nov. 30.