Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh defended his unique strategy of naming different starting quarterbacks for each of the first two games in a way only Harbaugh could on Monday. Instead of basing the decision on his football background, Harbaugh leaned on his faith in naming incumbent Cade McNamara the starter for Week 1 against Colorado State, while also announcing sophomore J.J. McCarthy will line up as starter in Week 2 against Hawaii.
“So many people have asked, how’d you come to that decision?” Harbaugh told reporters. “Was it based on some sort of NFL model? No, it was really biblical. Solomon, he was known for being a pretty wise person.”
The verse Harbaugh appears to be referring to comes from Ecclesiastes 11:6: “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” Harbaugh did not clarify exactly where in the Bible he was referring.
Of course, Harbaugh may have been referring to Solomon’s judgement to cut a baby in half so two women who both laid claim to being its mother could have half. Of course, the baby’s real mother begged King Solomon to give the baby to the other woman so it wouldn’t be killed, therefore revealing the true mother. Perhaps by splitting up the baby — er, starting quarterback job — Harbaugh will see which passer will emerge as the beloved son of his teammates.
“It’s a process,” Harbaugh said. “No person knows what the future holds, but the process will be based on performance. We think that both are capable of leading our team to a championship.”
McNamara completed 64.2% of his passes for 2,576 yards passing and 15 touchdowns while leading the Wolverines to a Big Ten title and the College Football Playoff last season. However, McCarthy played plenty in relief and provided a dynamic, athletic spark at times. Many thought McCarthy would win the starting job at some point in 2021, but McNamara held him off with strong play.
Michigan boasts one of the easiest nonconference schedules in college football with Colorado State and Hawaii up first. Harbaugh implied that a quarterback decision could come for Week 3 against UConn before the conference schedule starts against Maryland on Sept. 24. Michigan doesn’t play a preseason ranked squad until Oct. 29 against No. 15 Michigan State.