Michigan managed to win a game without coach Jim Harbaugh, who was suspended following the sign-stealing scandal. Michigan still wants a court order sidelining it for the remaining regular season games.
The lawsuit filed Friday by Michigan and Harbaugh is scheduled to be heard Friday. Judge Timothy Connors, a professor at Michigan Law School, recused himself. Judge Carol Kuhnke inherited the case.
That said, the Big Ten could try to find a way to send the case back to federal court by Friday. This is a common process when an out-of-state defendant faces a state court judge who was elected and can be removed from office by residents of the state. If there are sufficient grounds to withdraw the trial, the case will be handled by a federal judge appointed for life and therefore completely shielded from local political considerations.
Regardless of when the case is heard, the question will be whether Michigan is entitled to a “preliminary injunction,” preventing the stay while the lawsuit challenging it continues. An attempt by Michigan to obtain a temporary restraining order that would have allowed Harbaugh to coach on Saturday necessarily failed, as Judge Kuhnke did not grant it.
Over the next two weeks, Michigan will travel to Maryland before hosting Ohio State.