Jim Harbaugh's legacy on the verge of being defined

Harbaugh Part II.

You've never seen a quarterback like Colin Kaepernick:

Biker-style tats, with a biblical message.

A child of color.

Raised by self-proclaimed cheeseheads.

An earnest young man who interviews like his famously terse coach.

But celebrates himself like Hulk Hogan.

You gotta love this kid, right?

Still, none of that made him a starter. Jim Harbaugh didn't get him to be a touchstone for post-racial America (Which  he may turn out to be, who knows).

It wasn't to outplay Tom Brady in Foxboro (Which, by the way, he did).

It wasn't to singlehandedly outrush the Green Bay Packers -- by 104 yards! -- in a playoff game (Which, he did).

It was to win. Not last week. Not next year.

Now. Sunday. Starting at 3:05 p.m ET.

Rarely has the line between success and failure been so easy to draw.

The Niners came within a field goal of the Super Bowl last year.

They'll have to get there this time around.

Alex Smith had a passer rating of 104 when Harbaugh went to Kaepernick. The Niners had a 6-2 record.

Now, they're 6-2 with Kaepernick as the starter.

But again, this isn't about Smith or Kaepernick. It's about Harbaugh.

The son of a coach. The brother of a coach. The Harbaughs are to coaching what the Mannings are to quarterbacking.

But it now occurs that Jim, prickly as he is, might be the best. As smart as he thinks -- especially when it comes to quarterbacks.

He's responsible for the cultivation of Andrew Luck. The resurrection of Alex Smith. And the sudden ascendance of Colin Kaepernick.

Forget the tats. This is Pygmalion in pads.

How'd it work out?

You'll know later Sunday.

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