The 49ers have eight wins for the first time since 2014. That, of course, was Jim Harbaugh final season as San Francisco's head coach.
Until recently, many 49ers fans longed for the days of having Harbaugh pace the sideline, and as it turns out, his main rival feels the same way.
Harbaugh and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll have a long history of head-to-head competition dating back to their 'What's your deal?' days at Stanford and USC, respectively. Seattle hired Carroll in 2010, and San Francisco hired Harbaugh the following year. From that point on until Harbaugh's firing, the NFC's path to the Super Bowl went through one or both of the 49ers and Seahawks.
Monday night's matchup between Seattle and San Francisco represents their most high-profile game since the peak of the Carroll-Harbaugh era. Carroll, obviously, is still around to rekindle that rivalry, whereas Harbaugh -- currently coaching at his alma mater at the University of Michigan -- is not.
On Thursday, Carroll was asked about his coaching rival, and insisted that he misses him.
Pete Carroll on if he misses Jim Harbaugh being in the NFL:— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) November 7, 2019
"Yeah. I like Jim a lot. I think he's a great ball coach. He won't like me saying this but I like beating him."
Harbaugh won his first three games against Carroll and the Seahawks to begin his 49ers tenure, but lost five of his last six, including the 2013 NFC Championship Game. When asked if they had a true rivalry between them, Carroll had a tongue-in-cheek response.
Q: "But was it a rivalry between you and Jim?"— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) November 7, 2019
Carroll: "No. I just liked playing him."
For sure, Pete.
Harbaugh or not, you can expect Monday's game to approach the intensity of the rivalry of old.