By: Will Burchfield
It’s not exactly Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, but Jim Harbaugh and Jim McElwain are adding some sizzle to Saturday’s much-anticipated matchup between Michigan and Florida.
The two head coaches have engaged in a mini war of words over the past week or so.
It started with McElwain calling out Michigan for not releasing its roster, something Harbaugh has still yet to do. (Harbaugh riled the Colorado coaching staff with a similar practice last year.)
According to Harbaugh, Michigan can’t conduct final tryouts before Aug. 28. Its roster will be released on Aug. 30, he said.
Like most teams, Florida has announced its final roster. McElwain, however, has not named his starting quarterback for Saturday’s game, which Harbaugh made note of during his press conference on Monday.
“People make a big deal about our roster and not announcing our starting quarterback,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters, via the Detroit News. “I have not seen the starting quarterback come out of Florida. Never any mention of that. Very interesting.
“Yes, we’d like to have that information from them. I’m sure they’d like to have it from us. Right now, neither is giving that information.”
Meanwhile, at McElwain’s Monday presser he took a jab at Harbaugh’s conduct as a head coach.
Asked about Harbaugh’s antics over his first two seasons at Michigan, McElwain said, “He obviously felt he needed to do some things to be relevant and that’s his choice. I probably wouldn’t have done it.”
Harbaugh has risen eyebrows for a number of strange — but legal — recruiting tactics, including sleeping over at a recruit’s house, climbing a tree in a recruit’s backyard and turning signing day into a celebrity-infused, red carpet-like show. He’s also prone to making bold statements via social media.
(McElwain, for his part, may have mounted a shark while naked in the offseason. We all have our quirks.)
At a student pep rally on Florida’s campus last week, McElwain guaranteed a win over the Wolverines.
“We’re heading to Dallas here in a couple weeks to go beat the heck out of Michigan and then come back to you guys,” he said.
Michigan and Florida kick things off at 3:30 at AT&T Stadium on Saturday afternoon.