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College Football

Jim Harbaugh blames reporter for player guaranteeing win over Ohio St.

Jim Harbaugh reacted Tuesday to how Michigan Wolverines running back Karan Higdon seemingly guaranteed a victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday during a Monday press conference. The way the Wolverines head coach sees it, the reporter ought to assume some responsibility for Higdon’s response.

Harbaugh made the argument that while Higdon technically guaranteed a victory in college football’s biggest rivalry, the manner in which the running back responded was due in large part to how the reporter framed the question.

What got the things started was how the reporter referenced Harbaugh’s famous guarantee ahead of a 1986 game between the Wolverines and Buckeyes. The then-Michigan quarterback made good on his guarantee, leading the team to a 26-24 win in Columbus. The reporter then asked if Higdon was willing to do the same as his head coach and guarantee a win.

“Yeah, I do. I do,” Higdon said with a smile after a sustained pause. “That’s how I feel. I believe firmly in my brothers, this team and this coaching staff. And as a captain, I’ll take that stand. Why not?”

Harbaugh, when asked about the Higdon situation, took the reporter to task, calling the media member “pretty silly.”

“I didn’t think much of the way the interviewer was interviewing him,” Harbaugh said Tuesday, via Nick Baumgardner of the Detroit Free-Press. “What Karan was saying was, yeah, he’s confident. He believes in his team, believes in his teammates, his brothers and his coaches. That’s real and that’s genuine.

“I thought the reporter was pretty silly with ‘you guarantee, you guarantee, you guarantee?'”

The rhetoric obviously always gets ramped up a notch whenever Michigan and Ohio State square off, so it’s no surprise every involved party’s words are being parsed and the like. Despite all the chatter, matters will be settled on the field on Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium.