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Jim Harbaugh may be only force big enough to stand up to SEC’s whining

Love him or hate him — Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh certainly isn’t afraid to speak his mind. That’s especially true when talking about the mighty SEC and all its whining on the recruiting trail.

Dare we say he’s also becoming the only force big enough to shove the SEC’s hypocritical talk right back in its face?

On Tuesday, Harbaugh ripped off another tweet aimed directly at the SEC’s biggest powerhouse — Alabama — following the conference’s latest stance on satellite camps. Essentially, Bama and the other schools of the SEC seem to be worried about potential “recruiting violations” that may happen with these satellite camps.

Let’s just say in the face of all that is and has happened around recruiting violations, the SEC doesn’t have a leg to stand on and certainly Alabama isn’t clean.

Harbaugh wasn’t afraid to point that last statement out either:

All of this was sparked by Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban making a few comments about satellite camps and some rather obvious shots across the bow of Harbaugh and the Michigan program.

“I don’t know how much it benefits anybody because all the people that say this is creating opportunities for kids, this is all about recruiting,” Saban said, via “That’s what it’s about. Anybody that tells you that. What’s amazing to me is somebody didn’t stand up and say here’s going to be the unintended consequences of what you all are doing.”

Sure, there are chances for abuse of NCAA recruiting rules, but Saban perhaps needs to take a rather hard look in the mirror at his own coaching staff instead of poking around at others who have yet to break any NCAA rules (officially).

Instead, he took to the podium and decided to go off about “what’s best for the game of college football.”

“I’m not blaming Jim Harbaugh, I’m not saying anything about him. I’m just saying it’s bad for college football. Jim Harbaugh can do whatever he wants to do. I’m not saying anything bad about him if he thinks that’s what’s best. There needs to be somebody that looks out for what’s best for the game, not what’s best for the Big 10 or what’s best for the SEC, or what’s best for Jim Harbaugh, but what’s best for the game of college football — the integrity of the game, the coaches, the players and the people that play it. That’s bigger than all of this.”

It’s rather ironic that Saban of all people is worried about potential unintended consequences and the NCAA rule book when he couldn’t even control his own staff.

This isn’t the first time the two coaches have tangled over satellite camps or recruiting in general and it appears this won’t be the last time.

However, instead of the SEC and guys like Saban getting their way all the time, Harbaugh is helping the Big Ten and other conferences to start to have some backbone.

Maybe satellite camps are reduced or banned or modified to be hosted regionally in the future, but for now at least one person isn’t afraid of the big, bad SEC and its biggest bully — Nick Saban.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball


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