Michigan ticket sales spike amid Harbaugh quirkiness

For me, the offseason parade of quirky Jim Harbaugh moments jumped the shark this week as the Michigan coach posted a series of Twitter photos -- while vacationing in France – that rated as, well, just strange.

Maybe it's because the season is near and I'm hungry for some actual substance, but the latest dose of Harbaugh came off as a bit contrived. These slices of his lifestyle resonate when they appear more spur of the moment -- like the time he helped two women whose car flipped multiple times on I-94.

That's an act worthy of the headlines it created.

Posing at McDonald's in Paris? Not so much. It felt more like a holiday card engineered by the Michigan marketing arm. I mean, vacation pictures of friends and family are always nice, and the coach, who recently added an office phone number to his Twitter bio, looks happy and relaxed with his wife, Sarah.

But this has nothing to do with football, right? Please tell me it has nothing to do with football.

It's clear, though, that Michigan fans don't care what I think. They don't care what you think.

They simply can't get enough Harbaugh -- loyalty evident again this week as the school announced, according to MLive.com, that only scattered single-game seats remain for home games this fall against Oregon State for the Harbaugh home opener, Northwestern and Rutgers.

Games against Michigan State and Ohio State are sold out at Michigan Stadium.

Seats remain for meetings with UNLV and BYU, though Michigan has dramatically reversed its downward trend of ticket sales, so evident in 2014.

Nope, you won't get tickets to see the Wolverines play in 2015 with the purchase of a bottle of Coke.

Through all the suffering of the past two seasons, the struggle to fill the Big House rated high on the pain meter for the Wolverines, alongside the lack of a viable offensive line and the occasional appearance of disarray on the sideline.

Michigan saw its 16-year reign as the national attendance leader end last year as Ohio State and Texas A&M outdrew the Wolverines. Their streak reached 258 games with 100,000 in attendance, but only because of widespread ticket giveaways in 2014.

According to the Detroit News, 8.6 percent of all tickets redeemed at Michigan home games last year were distributed for free.

The situation was not good. And suddenly, because of a man decked out in maize and blue who poses for the world to see in the aisles of a European grocery store, the faith is back.

Of course, if Harbaugh wins games as well as he sells tickets, he can pose next summer in the Alps while wearing a winged helmet, and I'll get in line with Michigan fans to applaud his genius.