HOUSTON -- After leading Michigan to a national championship and 15-0 record amid a tumultuous season in which he was suspended twice, coach Jim Harbaugh said that "it couldn't have gone better."

Despite a three-game suspension to open the season after an NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations in 2020, followed by a sign-stealing scandal and the subsequent dismissal of staff member Connor Stalions that led to another three-game suspension, Harbaugh said the Wolverines were never rattled.

"It went exactly how we wanted it to go to win every game," Harbaugh said Monday night after No. 1 Michigan defeated No. 2 Washington 34-13. "The off-the-field issues, we're innocent and we stood strong and tall because we knew we were innocent. And I'd like to point that out.

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"These guys are innocent. Overcome that ... it wasn't that hard because we knew we were innocent."

Harbaugh spoke about how much it meant to him to "check the biggest box" in bringing Michigan back to the pinnacle of college football. He was asked afterward if he was making a list -- if winning a Super Bowl would be another goal, a nod to ongoing speculation about interest from NFL teams.

"I just want to enjoy this," Harbaugh said. "I just want to enjoy this. I hope you give me that. Can a guy have that? Does it always have to be what's next, what's the future? Like I said the other day, yeah, I hope to have a future. I hope there's a tomorrow, a day after tomorrow, a next week, a next month, a next year."

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel, for his part, said he understands "why people in the pros want to hire Jim Harbaugh and talk to him about being a coach."

"The man went to a Super Bowl, won a conference championship ... went back to the conference championship in that league.

"If I was in the pros, I would want to talk to him because of what he accomplished. However, I'm not in the pros and I want to keep him as our [coach], that's my cross to bear. But I am proud that Jim is our coach."

"Some day, when they throw dirt over the top of me, if somebody who is eulogizing me ... if they would simply say, 'He was a Michigan Man,' that would mean everything," said Jim Harbaugh. "Would mean everything to me." Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire

Harbaugh, whose father, Jack, coached for Bo Schembechler before Jim Harbaugh played quarterback for him, said being a "Michigan Man" leading the Wolverines to a title made him "very proud."

"Some day, when they throw dirt over the top of me, if somebody who is eulogizing me ... if they would simply say, 'He was a Michigan Man,' that would mean everything. Would mean everything to me."

He said he promised his players that if they went 15-0, he'd get his first tattoo. His plan, he said, was to get a block M in maize and blue, with the M also representing the Roman numeral for 1,000, which was special to him with Michigan becoming the first football program to win 1,000 games.

"No high school has gotten to a thousand wins. No other college has gotten to a thousand wins. No other pro team has gotten to a thousand wins," Harbaugh said. "University of Michigan. To reach a thousand wins and win the national championship in the same year, man, doesn't get much better than that. I would really ask you that.

"Who could possibly have it better than us? Nobody."

ESPN's Pete Thamel contributed to this report.