Jim Harbaugh was right to pick Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith

Hey. Harbaugh. Congratulations.

I mean, getting to the Super Bowl with a kid in his ninth start.

Whoever heard of that?

OK, you're a little temperamental.

But I feel obligated to part with my normal journalistic routine -- the eternal assignment of blame -- and give a little credit: you're no dummy, Jim Harbaugh.

It's one thing to entrust your franchise to a kid drafted No. 1. Or No. 2.

But a second rounder? A guy who's been sitting on the bench for a season and a half?

Especially when your starter has a passer rating of 104. I'm not saying Alex Smith was hot, just that he was 25 for his last 27, four touchdowns, no picks.

You're not supposed to lose your job for getting hurt.

Well, now you know better.

But you also know why Harbaugh flew to Reno in 2011 to personally work out a recent Nevada graduate.

Yeah, I know football's a team game. Just the same, Colin Kaepernick has now beaten Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Sunday, Matt Ryan in the NFC title game.

Last week he won with his legs.

This week? His arm. His heart. His head.

Of course, Frank Gore had a great day.

You can't defend the middle when you're worried about the quarterback getting around the edge.

Remember this, too: the Niners and that woefully inexperienced quarterback found themselves down 17. On the road.

So let me proclaim: Jim Harbaugh, you're actually as smart as you think. You're smarter than everybody.

Except, maybe, John?

But we'll find out soon enough.

You don't mind me calling you 'the little brother,' do you?

Follow Mark Kriegel on Twitter @markkriegel

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