Why Alabama’s Nick Saban, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh could both move on after this College Football Playoff

LOS ANGELES — There is a different type of stress circulating at the Rose Bowl prior to Monday’s first College Football Playoff semifinal. It’s not about sign-stealing conspiracies or hacked data investigations. It’s not even about deciphering Jim Harbaugh’s latest theater-of-the-bizarre comment.

“Jesus would have been five-star [recruit],” Michigan’s coach said, apropos of nothing, at Saturday’s media day.

Rather, the participants in No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Alabama are talking openly about that stress prior to one of the most compelling semifinals in the CFP’s 10-year history. This epic showdown — or next week’s CFP National Championship at the latest — might set the stage for an epic walk-off by one or both coaches.

For completely different reasons, Harbaugh and Nick Saban have reached possible career terminuses. The chatter about their coaching futures has progressed beyond the speculation stage.

It’s obvious Harbaugh may once again need to decide between his beloved alma mater and a step back into the NFL. While deciding, he will need to consider dueling NCAA investigations that could result in major penalties for him and the Wolverines.

This as Michigan has reportedly offered a monster extension with Harbaugh reportedly retaining famed football agent Don Yee — known for his NFL connections — as his new representation.

“I couldn’t [blame him for leaving for the NFL],” veteran Michigan offensive lineman Trevor Keegan told CBS Sports. “One thing I do know, his brother [Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh] being in the Super Bowl is eating at him.”

Not only has John been in the Super Bowl, he won his only championship over Jim’s San Francisco 49ers in 2013. That was before Michigan’s coach spent the last decade…


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