Jim Harbaugh scoffed at a reporter’s question about whether or not the Michigan-Ohio State game was just another day at the office earlier this week.

On Tuesday, speaking on the Big Ten coaches teleconference, Harbaugh got the same question again — one he’s gotten dozens of times now.

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This time, though, he offered his most detailed explanation yet. Just in case anyone out there wasn’t paying attention.

Michigan is playing in a massive rivalry, with everything on the line. Harbaugh says nothing in football could be bigger.

“To us, this is as big as it gets. Doesn’t get any bigger,” Harbaugh said after stating that “it’s always” been that way in this game. “Most important thing in our football lives. For the whole 365 days.

“It’s that big.”

Harbaugh, like most recent U-M coaches, continues to get peppered with the same question each year during rivalry weeks against Michigan State and Ohio State. He usually goes with the response that, yes, it’s a big deal.

“Just like it’s always been.”

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On Tuesday, though, things got a little more detailed.

Former Michigan star, and Heisman Trophy winner, Charles Woodson was adamant this offseason that the program needed to put more emphasis on this game. That players needed to carry themselves with more confidence heading into this rivalry. To understand the magnitude of the thing.

On Saturday, U-M will play Ohio State and the stakes could not be bigger. The winner goes to Indianapolis to play in the Big Ten championship game. If Michigan is victorious, its shot at a College Football Playoff bid is still very much alive.

A loss would wipe away all of that.

So, yeah, it’s a big deal.

Personally, for Harbaugh, there’s extra significance.

“(I was) nine and a half,” Harbaugh said when asked how old he was when he first realized the magnitude of this game. “The first game I went to was in 1973, sat in the south end zone with my mom, my brother and my sister. It was a 10-10 tie in Michigan Stadium. From then on, ‘The Game,’ it was the highlight of the year. Even better than Christmas.

“The best thing about it as a player and a coach is the competition. That’s what makes it the best day of the year to me.”

Harbaugh knows he’s not alone in that sentiment.

“(A win) would mean so much. For our team and everybody that’s for us,” he added. “We know how important it is for everybody that is us.”

This article is written by Nick Baumgardner from Detroit Free Press and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.


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