Jim Harbaugh to skip Orange Bowl so he can prepare for his next NFL head coaching job

ANN ARBOR, MI — Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said he will sit out of the Orange Bowl against Florida State on December 30th so he can prepare for his next NFL job. Harbaugh said it was a tough decision, but he felt he had to put his career first.

“It’s just not worth the risk,” he said. “I don’t want to use any new plays or looks in some meaningless bowl game that I could use for the Rams or Jaguars next year in an important NFL game. It makes no sense to spend three weeks preparing for Florida State when I should be getting ready for the Patriots and Seahawks and Steelers. That would be irresponsible. And what if I got hurt? Remember when Joe Paterno almost got snapped in half by a kid running off the field? If I’m in the hospital, I can’t coach in the NFL.”

Harbaugh was asked if he was worried a poor performance in the Orange Bowl, on the heels of losing to Ohio State, could hurt his NFL stock.

“Sure, that’s something you have to keep in mind,” he said. “I’m looking at a huge contract coming my way, and every loss can knock a hundred grand or so off that. That’s real money, no matter how much you save on pants.”

The coach said he will watch the game, if he isn’t being interviewed by an NFL team at the time, and appreciates the support of his coaching staff.

“I consider them to be friends and not enemies,” he stressed. “There is not a jive turkey on the entire staff.”

Harbaugh did say that he is not necessarily leaving Michigan for the NFL this year.

“I could return if I don’t like the options,” he said. “You have to think that in a year from now, I might be able to land somewhere better than the Jaguars or Rams or Bills, but I’ll make that decision when the time comes.”

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