Chris Russo on First Take Photo credit: ESPN

Not everyone is as well-equipped to talk about Michigan and Jim Harbaugh as Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is. Certainly not Charles Woodson or Desmond Howard.

Wednesday morning on First Take, Russo ripped Michigan and Harbaugh for attempting to play the victim amid their sign-stealing scandal. With the NCAA’s investigation into Michigan ongoing, the Big Ten decided they saw enough evidence of illegal activity to suspend Harbaugh for three games.

Michigan has since used the backlash as a rallying cry, with Harbaugh claiming his football program should be dubbed “America’s team” for enduring the adversity it brought upon itself. But according to Russo, not only should Harbaugh stop attempting to garner supporters, but Michigan alumni within the media should stop covering the scandal altogether. Leave that to the college football experts, like Russo.

“I cannot believe that Michigan is acting like they somehow got a raw deal! And by the way, no more Michigan announcers on television shows, STEVIE! Defending Michigan’s program.” Russo ranted while looking at Stephen A. Smith.

Last week, Smith had Howard on First Take. “You got no credibility! Guys who won Heisman Trophies, ‘Oh, how can you do this to poor Michigan.’ NONSENSE! They cheated! Take your punishment, take the two extra games and MOVE ON!”

Russo never mentioned Howard by name, but Kimberley A. Martin and Marcus Spears were quick to point out they knew who he was referring to.

“Desmond Howard coming in five minutes,” Spears said. “Doggie, you out here starting a mess now. Desmond’s about to…you’re gonna hear from Desmond.”

“What mess did I make?” Russo asked disingenuously. “Well, how about Charles Woodson? How about Woodson on Fox doing the pregame on Saturday saying, ‘This is a disgrace!’ He’s got NO CREDIBILITY, for crying out loud!”

Michigan alumni aside, there has been a stark contrast in the way Harbaugh’s program has been treated in recent weeks if you look at ESPN and Fox. ESPN personalities have largely taken strong stances against Michigan amid the program’s sign-stealing scandal, while Fox personalities, strangely led by Colin Cowherd, have been more inclined to downplay the allegations.

[First Take]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to