Legendary college football coach Lou Holtz weighed in on the importance of Jim Harbaugh being on the sideline for Michigan’s final game of the regular season against Ohio State.
Harbaugh is at the tail end of a three-game suspension over the sign-stealing scandal that engulfed the program over the last month. Holtz appeared on OutKick’s “Hot Mic” on Monday and revealed where the Wolverines team will miss their head coach in such a big matchup.
“I don’t think it bothers them when they call plays because he doesn’t call the plays any way – offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator,” Holtz said. “But he is the leader of the football team. They look forward to him. He’s a great competitor and that competitiveness comes through on the sideline even though he’s not actively involved.”
Holtz said Michigan will have to overcome archrival Ohio State without Harbaugh on the sideline. The game could determine who gets into the College Football Playoff after the conference championship games.
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“But the fact is, they aren’t going to have him,” Holtz said. “They got to find a way to win without him. I think they possibly could. But I think Ohio State has a better chance this year than they’ve had for the last couple years because of their defense.”
Holtz said he’s looking forward to the game.
“I think … this is one of the best defenses I’ve seen Ohio State have in the past several years,” he said. “I think they’re very good on defense, very physical. I don’t think Michigan will dominate them on the offensive line like they have in previous years.”
“I think it’ll be a heck of a game. I’m looking forward to it with all the other fanfare that has gone on with it: Harbaugh not being on the sidelines, Michigan cheating, it goes on and on.”