Setting aside the spin, Jim Harbaugh wanted to become the head coach of the Vikings earlier this year. And even though he has since tried to claim that his NFL ship has sailed, Harbaugh has made it clear that he has “unfinished business” at the next level.

He said it himself in September. On the brink of December, Harbaugh’s Michigan team is 12-0, after a rollicking 45-23 win at Ohio State, the school’s first win at Columbus since five days before former Michigan quarterback Tom Brady played for the first time in an NFL regular-season game.

If the window is ever going to be open for Harbaugh to return to the NFL, it will officially be open five weeks from tomorrow.

Unofficially, courtesy of the back-channel conversations that always happen, it could be open sooner than that.

“One of the things that was really kind of driving me is, you know, we were in San Francisco, we got that close to winning the Super Bowl,” Harbaugh told Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN in an interview that was televised on Labor Day weekend. “That’s always been a thing. There’s unfinished business there. But, hey, winning the national championship, [I] could be really happy with that, too. So that’s the goal. That’s the one we’re chasing.”

Indeed, even when making a 100-percent commitment to the Wolverines, Harbaugh made it clear that winning a college football national championship remains, in his mind, something less than winning a Super Bowl.