CHICAGO -- Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh caused a bit of stir when Big Ten media days began Thursday.

In comments published on a podcast hosted by The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, Harbaugh remarked that former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer had put together a phenomenal record during his career, but that “controversy follows everywhere he's been.

Harbaugh doubled-down on his swipe a day later.

When asked about providing further context to the remarks, Harbaugh said there was “no context you should know about.”

“I don’t think it was anything new or a bombshell,” Harbaugh continued. “It’s many things you’ve all understood and written about.”

Then he moved on to another question.

Harbaugh did not mention specific incidents or controversies involving Meyer during the podcast appearance, but he was likely referring to Meyer’s three-game suspension last season following his mishandling of domestic violence allegations concerning former assistant Zach Smith. Meyer also drew criticism for a series of player arrests during his previous coaching tenure at Florida.

But Harbaugh remains winless against the Buckeyes, losing all four of his matchups in the rivalry with Meyer on the opposite sideline.

With Meyer no longer in the Big Ten, replaced by Ryan Day, the Wolverines have emerged as a popular preseason pick to win the conference.

Harbaugh didn’t shy away from the lofty expectations.

“That’s where I’d pick us,” Harbaugh said.

During the opening session Friday, he talked about the national championship and conference championship as their foremost goals.

“Then you put those to the back of the mind and focus on how you can achieve those,” Harbaugh said. “That's what we're trying to do better, we're trying to do more. Focus on that day to day. I think it's good right now. I think it's tight. But like an anaconda. You want to just keep squeezing it tighter and make it better. That's where our football team is.”

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman