It was a great weekend for the athletic department at the University of Michigan. The men's basketball and ice hockey teams punched their tickets to the Final Four and Frozen Four. In so doing, John Beilein etched his name among the elite coaches in college basketball, and first-year hockey head man Mel Pearson showed that he was the right choice to take over for legend Red Berenson.

This weekend might have done more than elevate Beilein and Pearson, however. It may have also unwittingly heaped even greater expectations on the head football coach, Jim Harbaugh.

Making it to the final weekend of the season for basketball and hockey is great, but what fans in Ann Arbor want most are trips to the so-far elusive Big Ten Championship Game and College Football Playoff.

Harbaugh's turn

When Jim Harbaugh was hired as Michigan's football coach in December of 2014, it was widely assumed that he would quickly lead a humbled group back to the top of the national rankings after the mediocre tenures of Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke. After three seasons, however, Harbaugh has still yet to win a Big Ten Championship or beat Ohio State, and he holds only one win against Michigan State. Last year's loss to their so-called "Little Brother," along with season-long anemic quarterback play, has turned up the heat of criticism on Harbaugh all across social media.

As players hit the practice field for their fourth spring under Harbaugh, it's not a stretch to say that 2018 is a pivotal year, at least in the court of public opinion. Transfer quarterback Shea Patterson is a likely significant upgrade at that position, and last year's youth movement means an experienced group will take the field in South Bend in a huge season opener against Notre Dame.

A very difficult schedule, including games in East Lansing and Columbus, await, and will provide the opportunity for Harbaugh to silence his newfound doubters.

It's quiet in Ann Arbor

As spring progresses, there is a lot of noise on social media about the questions facing the Maize and Blue. But as far as the team itself, it has been an uncharacteristically quiet offseason.

There was no "Signing of the Stars" event with this year's recruits in February. Harbaugh has avoided tussles with rivals on Twitter. Coaching moves have been made without hoopla. All of this points to a very focused and business-like approach for a coach and team that are eager to equal the success of their counterparts in basketball and hockey.

Beilein and Pearson led their squads to rousing renditions of "The Victors" this weekend. Coach Harbaugh, it's Your Turn!