Harbaugh Weekly: Steak, chain gang, homecoming. What a bye week.

Jim Harbaugh made really good use of Michigan’s bye week. He dined on a 50-percent-off steak, and had all kinds of adventures on a California recruiting trip—including working on the chain gang at a high school game, and emceeing the announcement of a homecoming queen.

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With that kind of efficiency, it’s hard to believe the Michigan coach still has things on his bucket list.

And when it was all said and done, the Wolverines moved up to No. 3 in the AP poll, trading places with No. 4 Clemson, which needed overtime to beat N.C. State.

Another big question is, would Harbaugh have been running around like this if Michigan’s open date had fallen the week before Ohio State?[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

I’m just wondering if Lovie Smith will use Harbaugh’s decision not to stay in Ann Arbor and prepare for Illinois this week as bulletin board material. Or maybe the 34-point line is enough disrespect for the Illini.

Harbaugh readily acknowledged using his clout to reserve a table at the Ann Arbor Ruth’s Chris, which is offering up to 50 percent off, based on the margin of the Wolverines’ most recent victory. They were coming off a 78-0 thriller at Rutgers.

``Maybe we should have waited until the day after playing Rutgers’’ to launch the promotion, the restaurant manager, Paul Hannah, jokingly told MLive.com.

The promotion will continue for the rest of the season. Here’s a guess that reservations are already very solid for next week, with Michigan favored to beat Illinois by 34—and with the voters docking Clemson for winning close.

The meal was a labor of love—and health, apparently—for Harbaugh.

``I take a vitamin every day,’’ he said on his radio show last year. ``It’s called a steak.’’

The coach, who earns $7 million a year, probably didn’t need the discount. Then again, Ruth’s Chris must be loving all the pub it’s getting, and not just in Ann Arbor, but around the nation.

After the steak, Harbaugh made recruiting stops in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Antioch, Calif., near San Francisco.

While checking out running back Najee Harris, the No. 3 player in the ESPN 300, Harbaugh agreed to announce the Antioch homecoming queen winner. The crowd roared when Harbaugh told them Tatiana Mendez would preside.

``That was an all-time first for me,’’ Harbaugh said. ``That was really cool.’’

Oh, and by the way, Harris is committed to Alabama. So maybe Nick Saban was chewing nails while Harbaugh digested his steak.

The next day, the Bay Area News Group shot video of Harbaugh working the down marker in Albany, Calif., where he was checking out El Cerrito offensive tackle Aaron Banks, who’s No. 280 on the ESPN 300.

Harbaugh didn't look like a chain-gang natural. But give him credit for pitching in. The guy is just so pretentiously unpretentious.[/membership]

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