Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh says rivalry with Ohio State is 'very manufactured'

Maybe the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry isn't as intense as people want to make it out to be. The way that it is annually portrayed as some sort of "life-or-death" bloodbath doesn't sit right with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Harbaugh says "outside sources" have turned the rivalry into an over-the-top hatred between the Big Ten rivals — which is unhealthy.

"It's not healthy," Harbaugh said on Monday. "It's not healthy for the student-athletes on either side when you're trying to put that much [pressure]. ... That somebody's practically thinking it's life or death ... I would say it's not healthy for the young people."

It was probably easier to say with Harbaugh's team beating the Buckeyes for the third consecutive year on Saturday afternoon. The Wolverines used their run game and defense for a 30-24 win over Ohio State at Michigan Stadium.

Harbaugh was asked the question about the disdain on both sides ahead of the game. He punted on answering then, but shared his feelings in the aftermath once his players had their moment.

"I'm not going to go as far as to say contrived, but it is hyped up to no ends," Harbaugh said. "And these are student-athletes that are young kids, young adults, that are playing this game. And all we ask them to do is go out there and play the very best.

"I think that it's very manufactured for the TV show that people want to watch and see."

While Harbaugh was serving the final game of his three-game suspension, spectators saw Sherrone Moore at the helm. Michigan's offensive coordinator did such a great job running the show that Harbaugh said he called the interim head coach to tell him he was "a stone-cold killer."

He had no notes for Moore's game plan and execution, only extreme praise.

"I'm not saying that I'm in a position of granting who a Michigan man is or who isn't, or who a Michigan legend is or is not," Harbaugh said. "[I'm] not the maker of those two lists, but I have nominated people before and I nominate Sherrone Moore as a Michigan legend."

The Wolverines finished the regular season 12-0 and 9-0 in conference play. They will play in their third consecutive Big Ten title game and face the No. 17 Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday evening in Indianapolis. Should Michigan win, it would punch its ticket to a third straight College Football Playoff appearance.

“We're not done,” said running back Blake Corum.

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