We're still a few weeks away from Michigan's season opener, but Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh has found his first sparring partner of the 2016 campaign.
His adversary? Radio show host Jim Rome.
It started with Jim Harbaugh abruptly ending a press conference on Monday. Harbaugh didn't take kindly to being questioned about the suspensions of two freshman players, and walked out of the session with reporters. Rome took Harbaugh to task on Tuesday for his response (or lack thereof) to the questions.
"I know you think that everybody is the enemy, and especially the media, but these reporters are not trying to crack into the mainframe or steal your playbook. You had people missing from the team photo. They're asking what happened to them. They're doing their job," Rome said on "The Jim Rome Show". "Maybe you forgot over the summer that it's their job to cover your team, not ask you what your favorite 'Drake' album is."
Rome didn't stop there ...
"If anybody thought this was going to be a kinder, gentler Harbaugh since he went home to Ann Arbor to rescue the football program, make no mistake, it's the same exact guy. Nothing's changed. Same insanely, intense dude that got run from (San Francisco) because he was miserable, he runs way too hot and he was wearing people out. Don't get it twisted now. (He's an) unbelievable coach and I'm sure he'll do a great job there.
"... Michigan fans will love this guy for winning, they'll love him even more if he gets around to beating Michigan State, and even more than that if he can find a way to get over Ohio State. But anybody who thinks Harbaugh is wired to grow old in that job is kidding themselves. Enjoy it while it lasts. ... This cat runs way too hot. If he can't get through an August press session, media session, when they're asking him about guys who aren't in a team photo, he's not going to last long."
Harbaugh took to Twitter on Wednesday morning with his response, calling back to the infamous Rome vs. Jim Everett incident.
Not to be outdone, Rome fired back via Twitter and invoked the final score of Michigan's loss to Ohio State last season.
This whole thing could have been avoided if Harbaugh had answered the reporters' questions with basic details on Monday, but here we are. This will probably only endear Harbaugh to his team and prospective recruits -- it will be interpreted as Harbaugh protecting players -- and Rome gets free publicity as he mixes it up with one of the highest-profile coaches in college football. Consider this a win-win for the two.