Tom Dienhart on Jim Harbaugh: “He’d probably be a 7-5 coach at Purdue”

On Tuesday’s Drive with Jack radio show, Jack and Graham Couch were joined by Tom Dienhart, columnist and longtime Big Ten observer, on Michigan State basketball and the futures of Mark Dantonio, Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer, who Ebling said are “three of the best college coaches in the country.”

Ebling then asked Dienhart, “Which one will be the first to leave campus?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Dantonio,” Dienhart said, “because of a couple of things. For one, I’ve always wondered about his health. Maybe he has driven the ship about as far as he can? Are things really gonna get much better than they are now at Michigan State? Maybe? I’m not saying this is their ceiling, but it is gonna be hard pushing this thing even higher.”

As the conversation progressed, Dienhart posed his own question: “You could see maybe Harbaugh going back to the NFL right? Dantonio rides off into the sunset, right? Where else would Urban Meyer go?”

“I don’t know that there is a better job (than Ohio State) in football,” Ebling replied, “At any level as long as you are winning.”

“(Meyer) is not that old,” Dienhart continued. “He’s had alot of success. Maybe he’s one of those guys like John Madden who retires and goes back into the TV booth?”

As the chat circled around to the man in Ann Arbor, Ebling asked, “What would Jim Harbaugh’s record be at Purdue?”

“He’d probably be a 7-5 coach at Purdue at best,” Dienhart replied, “and maybe crank out an 8-4 record once in awhile. (He’d) Have to deal with 5-7, 6-6.”

Ebling then asked, “Would he be better than Joe Tiller?”

“I think he’d be just like Tiller,” said Dienhart. “The Tiller thing was just the perfect storm as far as offensive style (i.e the spread in the late 1990’s) when he got in the Big Ten. And getting the quarterback of course to fall in your lap like Drew Brees. I don’t think you can win at Purdue playing the kind of football you play at Michigan, Ohio State or Michigan State.”

There was much more to the conversation, including a bit of Big Ten basketball and the departure of Deyonta Davis to the NBA. You can hear it all below:


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