Jim Harbaugh: Michigan-Ohio State rivalry hatred 'very manufactured'

ANN ARBOR, Michigan -- The Michigan-Ohio State rivalry has always had a level of hatred to it given the history and relevance of the annual game, but Jim Harbaugh said Monday the bitterness and storylines of animosity seem manufactured by outside sources.

"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."

The comments come a day after Harbaugh once again stumped for the players to capitalize on revenue sharing with the NCAA and advocated for the rights of players. He was asked the question about the vitriol and tumult of the rivalry leading into Saturday, but he wanted to focus more on his team getting credit for the win and the job the players did on the field.

A lot of that praise went to offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore, who was interim coach as Harbaugh sat out his final game of a three-game suspension.

"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."

Harbaugh said he called Moore after the game and told him he was "a stone-cold killer" and that he wouldn't have changed any playcalls in the game.

The added pressure of winning the rivalry game didn't seem to impact Moore or the players, with Michigan prevailing 30-24, but Harbaugh said he believes hype from television networks is creating an unrealistic depiction of what this game really is.

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