It started off as a media spectacle, and it was supposed to go no further. Well, for the first season, at least.
There was proof out there that he knows what he's doing. Hell, he made Stanford relevant, back when Stanford was not relevant.
He even made Colin Kaepernick good. So, we knew it would come eventually.
But just six weeks into the season, Jim Harbaugh has turned Michigan, the once-proud-but-recently-abysmal program, completely around, capped off by a shocking 38-0 stomping of previously unbeaten Northwestern. It was the third-straight shutout for the Wolverines, something they had not done since 1980.
The culture and performance flip isn't shocking. The quickness of it is. Michigan will never lack for talent, but when viewed through a wide scope, they appeared to be a middle-of-the-pack squad at best, perhaps top-5 in the Big 10.
But now, all bets are off. Because we all knew what Harbaugh could do. Now, he's just doing it faster.
Oh, and my weekly check-in with Charlie Strong? Well, this week has a decidedly different feel to it. Because Texas rallied the troops after one of the more tumultuous weeks we've ever seen, and physically dominated a typical Oklahoma team -- one that had fooled people into thinking they wouldn't be a typical Oklahoma team. Silly us.
Steve Sarkisian and Mark Helfrich are in trouble. Kyle Wittingham and Jim McElwain are on fire. And we're only six weeks in.
(18) Michigan 38 (13) Northwestern 0
This was started and stopped in one place: attitude. Michigan is, primarily, the same team they were under Brady Hoke. Jim Harbuagh didn't bring NFL players with him; he didn't lure in a bunch of transfers, instantly upgrading the talent; he didn't even change the style of play that much.
What he did was change the attitude, and the mind set, and it was most apparent Saturday. This is a Michigan team rolling with belief, unafraid of any challenge, dripping with a confidence that starts from the top.
Michigan scored on the opening play of the game, a 96-yard kickoff return, and the tone was set.
A man of few, albeit odd, words, Harbaugh was ready to move on immediately, with in-state rival Michigan State up next.
"The fellas really came out ballin' right from the start," Harbaugh said.
(5) Utah 30 (23) California 24
Kyle Wittingham may be the perfect example of sticking with a coach, riding out the tough times, seeing stability and cohesiveness come to fruition.
Saturday night, it all came to be. Utah, two weeks after dismantling a crumbling Oregon team, backed up their early season play with an impressive, gutty win over Cal, establishing themselves as a true contender for one of the four playoff spots.
The Utes ferocious defense forced six turnovers against the Bears, including five interceptions of potential No. 1 pick Jared Goff, helping overcome a night when the offense was out-of-sync from the start.
With the win, Utah stands as the lone undefeated team in the Pac-12, just two months after the media picked them to finish fifth in the South division.
"We don't feel pressure because we know what type of team we are," Utah defensive back Boobie Hobbs said. "We feel like we're the No. 1 team. We just want to show the world that we can play with the Alabamas, the LSUs. We've got the guys and we've got great talent."
It won't be long before the rest of the country realizes it, too.
Texas 24 (10) Oklahoma 17
"We heard all week how the pride has been lost, how we don't play hard," Charlie Strong said. "And I don't have an answer for last week [TCU 50, Texas 7]. We go out and we kind of just lay an egg, and this week we came out and we wanted to impose our will. We wanted to play physical and watch our team just go to work."
With those words, Strong laid-claim to the most important victory in his Texas tenure, a statement win if ever there were one.
Texas jumped out early (14-0), held on late, and with it, knocked off their most bitter rival, sending shockwaves through the plains of Oklahoma, with Strong as the messenger.
Texas (2-4) had faced one of the most daunting schedules to start the season, with only Notre Dame having suffered a loss. Strong, a well-respected coach and mentor, was facing questions about his future, despite being just 20 games into his tenure.
But his players rallied, saving a season, and perhaps a coach, in the process.
"I think they said they didn't want to see me get fired so they were going to step up and play for me," Strong said with a laugh.
Now is where teams will begin to separate across the country.
Stanford-UCLA will kick it off Thursday night. Can UCLA bounce back from their shocking home loss to Arizona State last week? Or will Stanford, who is on fire after their Week 1 egg-laying at Northwestern, establish themselves as the clear class of the Pac-12 North?
Michigan-Michigan State will headline, in the first of what figure to be many nasty, immensely-important battles between these two teams.
Oh, and there's two top-10 matchups in the SEC: Alabama heads to College Station to face Texas A&M, and Florida visits LSU.
As the leaves fall, and the calendar ticks its way to November, an already unpredictable season goes on.