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Harbaugh vs. Meyer: Which coach would you rather have?

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  • By NFL.com
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USA TODAY Sports
Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh will meet for the Ohio State-Michigan game in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Saturday.

With Michigan's resurgence under head coach Jim Harbaugh, the renewal of the classic Michigan-Ohio State rivalry comes with a heightened sene of intrigue compared to a year ago, when the Wolverines stumbled to a 5-7 finish. The two teams will meet on Saturday, and the game will feature one of the most anticipated coaching matchups of the season as Harbaugh squares off against the Buckeyes' Urban Meyer.

We asked our panel of experts to pick the coach they would select to build a program if the options were Harbaugh or Meyer.

Here are their answers.

  • Gil Brandt NFL.com
  • Harbaugh has slight edge


    Picking between these two is like picking between Tom Landry or Don Shula for whom you would like to coach in one NFL game. In a tough call, I'm going with Jim Harbaugh. He coached at the University of San Diego, Stanford and Michigan, turning each program around. In addition, he took over the San Francisco 49ers when they were not a good team and developed them into a Super Bowl contender. Both Harbaugh and Urban Meyer understand what it takes to be successful coaches at the college level: Academics, player evaluation, recruiting and player development. To me, the only difference between the two is that Harbaugh is a better motivator of players at the college level.

  • Daniel Jeremiah NFL.com
  • Meyer gets the nod


    I'm a huge Jim Harbaugh fan but Urban Meyer is a more accomplished college coach. It helps that he has more experience building championship-caliber programs. What Harbaugh did at Stanford was borderline miraculous, but he has yet to claim a national title. Meyer is a tenacious recruiter and he knows how to build dynamic, physical football teams.

  • Bucky Brooks NFL.com
  • Meyer is most accomplished


    Urban Meyer is a better program builder based off his career resume. He has won three national titles (one at Ohio State and two at Florida) and raised the profile of each program that he's directed. Until Harbaugh wins significant hardware, he falls behind in this debate.

  • Lance Zierlein NFL.com
  • Can't go wrong with either


    This is such a tough call. While I don't think you can go wrong with either guy, I would push my chips in with Jim Harbaugh. Meyer took over a program that had plenty of talent on the roster when he arrived at Ohio State and he has done a great job with that talent. I've seen Harbaugh build Stanford from scratch, change the culture of the San Francisco 49ers and get the most out of a Michigan roster with average talent. While both coaches would be at the top of my list, I would favor Harbaugh over Meyer, but just barely.

  • Chase Goodbread College Football 24/7
  • Meyer more impressive


    Urban Meyer's track record for building a program, strictly from a recruiting and talent standpoint, is beyond reproach. He left Florida's program in something of a mess, but that fact speaks more to his ability to maintain a program at a high level than it does of his ability to build one. Meyer could go almost anywhere and build a winning program, if not a championship one. Harbaugh's track record, which includes a successful first season at Michigan, is impressive. However, it's not as impressive as what Meyer can do.

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