Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh couldn’t have been happy with the Wolverines’ losses at the time last season, but he said Thursday that they could help make his team even better in 2017.
There’s not a single coach that celebrates a defeat, but drawing positives from losses is a well-known practice.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is no different. Harbaugh appeared on Bay Area-based The TK Show on Thursday and praised his 2016 team for fighting through close losses to end the season while saying he believes the tough defeats could benefit the Wolverines in 2017.
Michigan fell 14-13 at Iowa and had its College Football Playoff chances dashed with a 30-27 overtime loss at rival Ohio State in the regular-season finale. The Wolverines then blew a lead in the final two minutes and fell 33-32 to Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
“This past season, as close to being perfect as any team I’ve been on without being perfect,” Harbaugh said. “We lost two games by one point, and a third game in overtime by three points. Good. Glad we lost them, and maybe that’ll make us better.
“We didn’t win a national championship. We came up short, lost three of our last four games. We’ve actually got to get a lot better.”
And they’ll have to do it with plenty of different players making contributions. Michigan had 14 players invited to the upcoming NFL Combine, a group that includes lost seniors and early entrants.
Harbaugh is certain, though, that the Wolverines will be well-prepared by the time they open the season against Florida on Sept. 2 at AT&T Stadium.
“It’s been competitive around here,” Harbaugh said. “Our young players are responding and focused on making the team better. That makes me very excited.”