Ratto: Harbaugh in coaching catbird's seat

Ratto: Harbaugh in coaching catbird's seat
January 3, 2011, 6:36 pm
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MIAMI -- Jim Harbaugh must be enjoying the world spinning about his hive right now, guessing what hes thinking.

Yes, the joys of leverage. Even better than the joys of sex, because leverage is a lot harder to come by.

Harbaugh is going to Michigan if you listen to college folks and people from Michigan. Harbaugh is going to the 49ers, if you listen to pro people and people from San Francisco. Harbaugh is staying, if you listen to a few lonely and desperate Stanford fans who believe in the power of hallucination.

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And the Orange Bowl? Knowing he, and not the game, will be Topic A tonight.

Harbaugh could play the teary retirement angle tonight in the postgame presser, though we doubt it. He likes the game of watching people guess at his motivations too much. It is a power aphrodisiac that doesnt require bullying or other weapons, and it only comes a fellows way once, maybe twice, in his lifetime.

Thus, were going to bet heavily that he waits a few days beyond the anticipated firing of Rich Rodriguez at Michigan and then let the 49ersmiscellaneous NFL team and the Wolverines fight it out for his love. And that he wont let any secrets between now and then.

In short this isnt Harbaughs move. Its Michigans, because they havent fired Rodriguez yet. Once they do, the game will truly be afoot. In the meantime . . . well, you know. Kickoff at 5:35 p.m. Interminable halftime show. Game over sometime after 9 p.m. Bring beer. Youll need it.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.