A month and a half from now, when this Colts season is finally, blessedly over, the search for a head coach will begin in earnest, and it all feels like it needs to start with one obvious target in mind:

Jim Harbaugh.

Yes, he was in Indianapolis this past weekend. No, he wasn’t here to interview for the Colts job (presumably). But he might soon be.

Has this franchise ever needed Captain Comeback more than it does now, its current fortunes circling the drain at 4-8-1 after Sunday night’s 54-19 demolition at the hands of the Cowboys? We’ve seen the Jeff Saturday Experiment, and it looks just like the final games of the Frank Reich Era. And yes, we’re all still waiting on the challenge flag after Isaiah Rodgers’ apparent interception — but, you know, experience is a bad thing, according to team owner Jim Irsay.

After years of hiring nice guys who’ve finished second in the division or worse, isn’t it time to shake things up and look at someone who is said to be quirky, at times difficult and endlessly charismatic? And doesn’t it feel like Irsay wants to — needs to — make a splash hire?

This gives rise to a number of questions, many of which lack a solid, if even coherent, answer. Like:


Would Harbaugh be willing to leave a top-flight Michigan program to return to the NFL for a second stint?

Well … you have to think so, right?

One year ago, he had a strange dalliance with the Minnesota Vikings. The general sense was that he expected he was being brought out to Minneapolis to interview and receive a job offer. The Vikings had different ideas, and the offer never came. Harbaugh returned to Michigan.

At the time, Harbaugh was quoted as saying these NFL dances will not become “a reoccurring event” after every college season, but he’s made it clear in the past: He views the NFL as the ultimate challenge, and he desperately wants to win the Super Bowl he failed to secure back in 2013 when his Niners lost to his brother’s Baltimore Ravens. If the Colts, a team that put him on its Ring of Honor despite a 22-26 record in Indianapolis, come calling, you don’t think he’d pick up and listen? I do. I most certainly do.