Harbs Is Taking The Easy Way Out
University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh announced over the weekend that last year's starting quarterback, 4th year sophomore Cade McNamara (left) and his primary backup, sophomore J.J. McCarthy (right), will split starting duties for the first two games of Michigan's season. Which begins this coming Saturday in Ann Arbor against Colorado State.
According to Harbaugh, McNamara will start Week 1 this coming Saturday, while McCarthy will start in Week 2 versus Hawaii.
Here's the tweet from over the weekend:
This controversy as to who will/should start is something I talked about earlier this month. And I believe, with this decision, Harbs (Tim Staudt's nickname for Harbaugh) is taking the easy way out in this very public decision. Here's why:
HARBS IS AFRAID ONE OF THEM WILL TRANSFER
Jim doesn't want to alienate either QB because if one of them transfers, the team gets weaker (not much experience behind them). If he names McNamara the full-time starter, he runs the risk of McCarthy leaving via the transfer portal, possibly by the fourth game of the season. If J.J. leaves by then, he can preserve a year of eligibility (so can McNamara, for that matter).
Remember, McCarthy was the number 1 QB coming out of high school. And if he's not starting in his sophomore year, he won't like that.
But if he names J.J. the starter, he'll likely have a very unhappy backup in Cade. McNamara led the Wolverines to the Big Ten title and the College Football Playoff. What does Cade have to do to win the job outright? That has to be what McNamara is thinking privately. And it could cause problems in the locker room. Not to mention the fanbase.
IMO, It's still weak, make a decision and go with him. Whoever it is.
HARBS JUST CAN'T DECIDE BECAUSE THEY ARE EQUAL IN TALENT
I suppose this is possible. He has talked about how well both guys have played in camp. By doing it this way, he delays his decision a couple of more weeks. Somebody could get hurt and that makes the decision easy. Or, somebody could play their way into the starting role by being much better than the other in game action.
Many observers believe that even though McNamara is better now, he is closer to his ceiling at this point. And that McCarthy has the higher ceiling and bigger potential, just not quite as good right now.
Still, it's weak. Make a decision either way. And stick with it.
Michigan is loaded on offense. There are weapons everywhere. Ronnie Bell, Andrel Anthony, Cornelius Johnson, and A.J. Henning are among the wide receivers (they have more). Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards look to be top-notch running backs. And their top two tight ends, Erick All and Luke Schoonmaker, return as well. It may not matter at the start of the Big Ten season who's QB'ing this team. The Wolverines will likely be 3-0 facing Maryland in the Big Ten opener in Ann Arbor in late September.
But who's going to be the guy when they play Iowa? Or Michigan State? Or Penn State or Ohio State? Harbaugh needs to just make a decision, pick a guy, and just go with him. Everything else (disgruntled QB, fan reaction) be damned.
There's a saying that if you have two good (but not great) QB's, you really have none. That's not necessarily the case here. But the McNamara/McCarthy QB decision has hovered over this team since they lost to Georgia in the CFP. And it's the number 1 thing that needs to be resolved ASAP.
Harbaugh didn't do that, he took the easy way out. And it's disappointing. And it may cost them in the end.