Michigan faces Alabama in the College Football Playoffs on Jan. 1, and numerous Big Ten coaches say quarterback JJ McCarthy isn't the same quarterback since his team stopped stealing signs.
McCarthy's second-half output dropped after Jim Harbaugh's suspension for the Michigan football sign-stealing controversy. This season's first seven games saw the QB throw 14 touchdowns and average 10.6 yards per attempt.
McCarthy only had one touchdown throw in his final five games at 7.04 yards per attempt. Big Ten coaches see this line and tell The Athletic that they question if the Michigan QB is as good without the football program's sign-stealing.
My opinion changed afterward. He looks different since all that transpired. Not sure whether he's wounded. I considered him Heisman-worthy. Heisman quarterbacks don't throw 8 passes every game. I suppose he was confident and ready before.
While some coaches mistrust McCarthy and the sign-stealing, others believe the Jim Harbaugh suspension, a relatively unknown ailment, or the Wolverines' strong second-half schedule may have contributed to McCarthy's statistical fall.
If JJ McCarthy doesn't figure it out before the College Football Playoffs between Michigan and Alabama, his time as a Wolverine may be over.