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Posted at 5:41 AM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Jim Harbaugh ponders his next move after Stanford wins Orange Bowl

By Cindy Boren

Jim Harbaugh and his Stanford players celebrate Monday night. (Al Diaz / Miami Herald)

Jim Harbaugh is officially on the clock. Now that his Stanford team has beaten Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, he can decide where he will work next year.

Harbaugh, the Stanford coach whose name is mentioned wherever there's a major college opening or an NFL vacancy, now seems unlikely to replace Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, Harbaugh's alma mater. His brother, Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh, said Monday he thinks there's a "good chance" he stays at Stanford. But John Harbaugh admits he doesn't know for sure what his brother will do.

The former quarterback certainly has plenty of options. John Elway, who is expected to be named director of football operations for the Denver Broncos this week, attended the Orange Bowl and was just outside the Stanford locker room, postgame. The Broncos just happen to need a coach and Elway's Stanford connections run deep. The San Francisco 49ers are believed to be in earnest pursuit as, reportedly, are the Miami Dolphins.

Harbaugh, 58-27 as a college coach and 29-21 at Stanford (12-1 this season), wasn't saying anything after the Orange Bowl win, according to The Post's Mark Giannotto.

"Oh, please. Please give me a break," he said when asked if he'd just coached his last game at Stanford. "You know, have some respect for the game. It's about the performance tonight of these platers, and I love them. Let's talk about them."

Starting today, it's all about him.

By Cindy Boren  | January 4, 2011; 5:41 AM ET
Categories:  College football  
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Hey sweet cheeks! [Anything to drive page clicks!]

Hard not to watch the game last night and ask "why can't we get some of that in Ann Arbor?

But I don't see why the UM job would interest Harbaugh that much right now. If it was to be his last job, I can see the attraction; but he's clearly going to be in the NFL at some point, and if he doesn't see the right place this year, why not stay at Stanford?

I'm off the RichRod bandwagon, though -- three years in, and he has the worst defense I have ever seen. Totally and utterly incapable of stopping the little sisters of the poor. It was fun to watch Denard, and maybe that offense will click even better next year, but at Michigan, you start with a good defense.

Posted by: daggar | January 4, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

"John Elway, ..., from attending the Orange Bowl."

All things considered, it's still better writing than the rest of the Post.

Posted by: ouldphart | January 4, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Harbaugh and Luck will both move to the NFL this year.

It's the only move that makes any sense for them, since they are as hot as commodities get now.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 4, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I love your thinking, Daggar! (May I call you "cookie"?)
Niners, postfan1?

Posted by: Cindy Boren | January 4, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go to Ann Arbor. We NEED you Jim!

Posted by: CHICO13 | January 4, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Respect for the game? This coming from the same guy that was trying to make the referees believe Taylor stepped out of bounds on that TD pass! Everyone watching saw that Taylor was clearly inbounds but Harbaugh blatantly tried to manipulate the officials. I guess "respect for the game" only applies to reporters.

Posted by: steeleri64 | January 6, 2011 5:25 AM | Report abuse

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