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Flashback: Jim Harbaugh Guarantees Victory Over Ohio State in 1986

Wolverines quarterback who would go on to become program’s head coach also guaranteed his place as most hated man in Ohio

It’s funny how things work out. 

Thirty years ago this week, Jim Harbaugh made his famous claim (or infamous, if you’re an Ohio State fan) about his Michigan Wolverines, back when he was the team’s quarterback: “We’re going to play in the Rose Bowl this year, I guarantee it. We’ll beat Ohio State and we’ll be in Pasadena on January 1st.”

No big deal, right? Just one of the fiercest rivalries in college football going into a game with literally everything on the line. Michigan was ranked at number six, while the Buckeyes were a peg behind them at number seven. That’s not adding any extra pressure or anything. 

Apparently not. Michigan would go on to win 26-24, and Harbaugh, who leads the Wolverines into Columbus this Saturday, this time as his alma mater’s head coach in another game with big time repercussions on the line, would become one of the most hated figures in the entire state of Ohio. But as Michigan goes into this last game of the regular season ranked number three against the number two Buckeyes, Harbaugh was asked his thoughts on his bold prediction from three decades ago.

“Having done it, I don’t recommend it,” he said. 

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