Since Desmond Howard became the first Michigan player to receive a Legends Patch, there has been much debate surrounding which players deserve the award as well. In an effort to settle some of the debate, we will be breaking down a former Michigan football player that we believe should be analyzed as a nominee for a Legends Patch. This does not mean our writers believe they should be formally nominated in some way, but only that their credentials should be reviewed. If you have an opinion please comment or contact our writers via Twitter.
Nominee: Jim Harbaugh
In a football program renowned for its rich history of great quarterbacks, Jim Harbaugh stands out as one of the finest. Completely rewriting the Michigan passing record books, Harbaugh's skill and poise led the Wolverines to a Big Ten title in 1985, and a Fiesta Bowl victory in 1986. The nation's most efficient passer in 1985, Harbaugh went on to set several school records, including a single season mark of 2,729 yards. Honors that followed included Michigan's Most Valuable Player, Big Ten Player-of-the-Year, third in Heisman voting, as well as finishing second in the nation in passing efficiency. Became the first quarterback in Wolverine history to throw for over 300 yards in a single game. Harbaugh earned first team All-American honor from the Football News in addition to being named to the Big Ten All-Academic Team. He was also named second team All- American by AP and UPI." - Bentley Historical Library
Does Jim Harbaugh Deserve A Legends Patch?
Thomas Beindit - No
Harbaugh had a very impressive career at Michigan including All-American status, individual records, and great team performances. However, I don't think Harbaugh did quite enough to earn this special distinction with the program. It's called the Legends Patch for a reason. A player that receives this award needs to be a legend with the program. His stats aren't quite impressive as players like Chad Henne, even though they played in different eras, and his contributions and team success wasn't that spectacular or unique. He had some great moments such as his 1986 guaranteed victory over Ohio State in the Horseshoe and when he led the nation in passing efficiency in 1985, but is that enough to get a Legends Patch? He did get 3rd in the Heisman voting in 1986, but I'm still not sure that's quite enough. To me, you have to be the icon at the position, linked to something inherit in the school, or win a Heisman. I can't say any of those about Harbaugh. Plus, as of late, he hasn't treated Michigan with as much respect as many would prefer. Perhaps this sentiment will fade with time, but as of now, Harbaugh doesn't deserve a Legends Patch.
Kyle Curtiss - No
I'm going to agree with the major consensus here. When I think of old school quarterbacks for Michigan, Harbaugh is a name I always think of. Maybe it's because I enjoyed watching him play for the Indianapolis Colts? Whatever the reason is, I don't think he deserves a Legends Patch. Possibly a "very good" Patch. I don't put any stock into his treatment of Michigan. He's a good coach who's allowed his own opinion. He didn't want to coach here? That's fine. We have Brady Hoke now. His career at Michigan can best be summed up as a jack of all trades, master of none. Don't get me wrong, I personally love the guy. I just don't think he had the career of a legend.
Tyler Fenwick - No
I hate to go with the crowd on this one, but I don't believe Jim Harbaugh deserves a Legends Patch. His career doesn't really pop out to me. Last week, in William Cunningham's case, I easily said yes because of his contributions to the University. I don't feel like Harbaugh holds the same kind of status. Another unique way to look at this is to consider how we would answer if he had taken the vacant job at Michigan when Rich Rodriguez was fired. Our views would be very more positive of him (I'm not saying our views are necessarily negative), and I think I would probably be tempted to say yes to the Legends Patch. But that isn't the case, so I don't feel like Harbaugh put together an impressive enough resume to deserve the Legends Patch.
All writers are entitled to their own opinion and those may or may not represent the held beliefs of Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity. Readers are welcome to comment below or contact the writers via Twitter with their thoughts