In what has been a rivalry since their days as coaches in the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) conference, Jim Harbaugh downplayed any thoughts of dislike for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll on Wednesday afternoon.
“Animosity? No, [that's] erroneous. Erroneous," Harbaugh said. "It’s football. It’s competition. It’s winning. Football, competition, and winning. That’s the sport. That’s what we’ve had [which is] great competition.”
Sunday's NFC Championship game is the biggest of all games both Harbaugh and Carroll coached against each other. The 49ers head coach was initially a thorn in Carroll's side after he went 2-1 at Stanford against the University of Southern California from 2007-2009.
Both coaches drew attention in 2009 after a famous "What's your deal?" handshake in the last meeting between both coaches at the college level when Harbaugh went for a two-point conversion in an attempt to score 50 points.
On Monday, Harbaugh disagreed with anyone who claimed this was a rivalry between both coaches. This will be the tenth meeting between both sides at the college and NFL level combined.
"I haven’t seen where [a rivalry is] really even talked about anymore," Harbaugh said on Monday. "I think that might have been something four or five years ago. But, I haven’t seen it as of late. And, it would be as irrelevant now as it would have been then when people made a bigger deal out of it. So, irrelevant, irrelevant.”
Harbaugh has a 4-2 record against Pete Carroll's Seahawks since being in the NFL. He last won at CenturyLink field in Week 16 of the 2011 season.