How Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s mind games got Florida’s Jim McElwain in a sleeper hold

jim mcelwain-michigan football roster-jim harbaugh

See, here’s the thing: It’s not about us, the heathen scribes. It never was. It’s about getting into the little crawlspaces inside Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain’s head, laying the charges, dropping the TNT and finding a good seat for the mother of all light shows.

And, well … so far, so good.

Jim Harbaugh 1, McElwain 0.

Harbaugh 2, McElwain 0.

Harbaugh 3, McElwain 0.

No, no, no, champ. This is straight out of Mind Games 101.

Michigan’s playing chess.

The Gators are playing Yahtzee.

This is Muhammad Ali, Conor McGregor stuff, the game before the game. Every time Harbaugh puts a padlock on a state secret, he’s really yanking a chain.

Only the chain isn’t in Detroit. Or New Jersey.

It’s Gainesville.

The rest of it — the roster hoarding, the parsing of the Freedom of Information Act, the fist-shaking across the blogosphere — is collateral damage.

McElwain has hours of Wolverines tape at his fingertips already, kids. If he wants a depth chart, he can go to the corner grocery store and chuck a magazine into the shopping cart.

Right next to the dead fish.

No, no, no, chief. This is about distraction. Sleight of hand.

It’s about cranking up the B.S. It’s about getting reporters and fans in the Sunshine State talking and asking questions and raging about Michigan’s antics as opposed to the pertinent stuff. It’s about cranking the speed on the record player up to 78 rpm, and seeing if you’re still willing to dance.

Short answer: Yup.

Yahtzee!

Meanwhile, as Nero fiddles, Rome burns.

Fair point, that.

Locus communis says a healthy Wilton Speight probably gets the keys at quarterback when the Wolverines offense trots out for the first time on Sept. 2. It also says that if you bring a butter knife to one of Harbaugh’s mental gun fights, what happens next is on your head, and your head alone.

He’s in McElwain’s skull now, lighting fuses, and the Gators have already spotted Harbaugh a field goal. Good Lord willing, the fireworks in Arlington, Texas on Sept. 2 will be half as fun.

The post How Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s mind games got Florida’s Jim McElwain in a sleeper hold appeared first on Land of 10.

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