Sometimes the paper trail is a mile-wide and glows in the dark. And sometimes you piece it together with spit and bailing wire, and no lack of overheated imagination.
And so here's one that leads, sort of, from San Francisco through Bloomington, Indiana, and on up to Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Follow along, children:
* In San Francisco, Jim Harbaugh's magic dust is nearly gone. The 49ers lost again yesterday dropping to 1-2, and the rumblings are now appropriately seismic that Harbaugh has lost the team. Frank Gore is carping about touches. Anquan Boldin is disgruntled. Discipline issues have cost the defense in particular -- though not as much as the lack of discipline 's exhibited by Harbaugh's refusal to bench accused domestic abuser Ray McDonald and the increasing number of rockheaded penalties the Niners are piling up.
Conclusion: Harbaugh's fast wearing out his welcome.
He's also, ahem, a Michigan Man.
* Which brings up what happened in Columbia, Mo., Saturday. Indiana -- lowly, lost-to-a-MAC-school-at-home Indiana -- jumped up and beat Missouri, an SEC school. A ranked SEC school. On the road.
And that brings up, in stark contrast, what happened in Ann Arbor ...
* ... where Michigan didn't just lose to but got cross-stitched by, um, Utah, 26-10, thereby suffering in comparison to Indiana for one of the few times in the Wolverines' glorious football history. That puts even more heat on head coach Brady Hoke, who's now as embattled in Ann Arbor as Harbaugh (remember: Michigan Man) is in San Francisco.
So Michigan now looks worse than Indiana, at least for one week. And that seems to hasten what now appears to be Hoke's imminent exit. And that, in turn, will open the door to bring in Harbaugh and rescue him from his own uncomfortable situation.
Or so the paper trail says. Sort of.