ANN ARBOR, Mich. — After a 1-2 start to the 2020 football season for Michigan, head coach Jim Harbaugh is focusing on one day at a time as the team prepares to host Wisconsin on Saturday night.
"My expectation is to win this game," Harbaugh said, "my enthusiasm and attacking this with our team, that's where we see the opportunity, win this game and get prepared for it."
Despite the tough start as a team, two players who have impressed the coaching staff are from right here in West Michigan. Paw Paw's Karsen Barnhart played major minutes on the offensive line in Saturday's loss at Indiana while East Kentwood graduate Mazi Smith is seeing reps at defensive tackle.
"I thought Karsen Barnhart played well," Harbaugh said in Monday's press conference, "Mazi Smith [too], just giving all those guys the opportunity to go and see if we3 can generate more pass rush," he added about the defensive front.
Harbaugh is now in year six at Michigan and has yet to appear in a Big Ten championship game, as the team continues to underachieve compared to the lofty expectations that have been set.
In fact, the Wolverines haven't won a Big Ten title since 2004, though the expectation every season under Harbaugh has been exactly that. In Monday's press conference, Mike Stone of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, asked if fans should lower those expectations, Harbaugh deflected.
"The expectations are having a great day, today," Harbaugh said in part.
With just one year left on Harbaugh's seven year contract at the University of Michigan, the school will soon have a decision to make. However, Harbaugh says he's not worried about that or listening to any outside noise.
"It depends on someone's willingness or interests to listen to what 'they say,'" Harbaugh said using quotations, "I have very little interest in doing that and I communication that to our team as well."
Of course, Coach Harbaugh is no stranger to NFL head coaching rumors but says he wants his actions to speak for him and his intention to stay in Ann Arbor for several more seasons.
"No matter what I say to you, I've been here for five and a half and almost six years, I've experienced this. No matter what I say, the next day something else is said or the next year the same thing comes up," Harbaugh said when asked about his future and NFL rumors.
The Wolverines are now nationally unranked after last week's loss to Indiana and will look to get back to .500 on the season against Wisconsin on Saturday night at the Big House.