Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll meet once again on opposite sides of the field as the San Francisco 49ers head north on I-5 to play the Seattle Seahawks in the latest incarnation of the “What’s you deal?” bowl. These guys have been butting heads since 2007, when Jim Harbaugh was hired by Stanford after his stint coaching the college powerhouse, the USD Toreros. Harbaugh’s Cardinal of course beat USC in 2007 as 41 point underdogs, one of the greatest upsets in college football history. And the fight was on. The Cardinal lost in 2008, but 2009 gave us the 55-21 trouncing of the Rubbers in LA. Harbaugh’s 2 point conversion on the last TD led to the title of this thread.
Harbaugh ended up 2-1 vs USC, the only college coach to have a winning record vs Pistol Pete in the college ranks. Pete came to Seattle in 2010, and went 1-1 under the previous 49er regime. But, enter Jim Harbaugh in 2011, and Pete is once again winless in Seattle vs Harbaugh. Jim is a perfect 3-0 vs the Hawks, winning 33-17, and 19-17 last season, and a hard-fought 13-6 win earlier this season.
Much of the gravitas of this upcoming game was doused when the 49ers took care of New England, and thus still have a 1.5 game lead with 2 to go, so Seattle can’t take the west lead with a win, but Seattle is still fighting for their wildcard lives. At 9-5, they control the top WC spot as of now, but there are 5 teams at 8-6 who could easily slide in to take their hole. Seattle still has a slim chance to win the West, albeit at the hands of SF losing to AZ at home, which is highly unlikely, but the crux of this game lies in the hands of these coaches. At least that’s the compelling storyline.
A 49er win would pretty much lock up the #2 seed for the Niners and get the coveted 1st week bye. Green Bay has the Titans at home (win) and Minn on the road (probably a win), so the Niners need to beat Seattle to take it. Damaging Seattle’s playoff hopes is extra gravy for the biscuits. Much as a Niner loss would be a big feather in Pete’s cap as it would likely kill the Niners shot at the 1st round bye.