Pat McAfee's Take on Michigan Football Amid Sign-Stealing Scandal KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Friday, November 10, 2023

Pat McAfee's Take on Michigan Football Amid Sign-Stealing Scandal

Pat McAfee's Take on Michigan Football Amid Sign-Stealing Scandal

In the world of college football, few topics have sparked as much debate and controversy as the Michigan sign-stealing scandal. As the allegations of sign-stealing by the Michigan Wolverines football program continue to make headlines, many questions loom over the potential consequences for the team's playoff eligibility.
ESPN's podcast host, Pat McAfee, has added his voice to the discussion, shedding light on the situation and its implications for Michigan's College Football Playoff hopes.

The Michigan Sign-Stealing Scandal

The Michigan sign-stealing scandal has rocked the college football world, with fans and analysts alike debating the appropriate punishment for the Wolverines if found guilty. Sign-stealing allegations are not new in sports, but the impact on college football could be significant, particularly with the amount of money flowing in from betting sites and NIL deals.
Pat McAfee, known for his candid and unfiltered commentary, shared his take on the Michigan sign-stealing controversy during a recent episode of College GameDay on ESPN. With his trademark humor, McAfee quipped, "I think we're all excited to move on, but if they cheated, we know the NCAA will get 'em... by 2030 or so." This remark encapsulates the sentiment that many share regarding the NCAA's typically lengthy investigative process.
McAfee's stance becomes more apparent when discussing potential punishments for Michigan. He acknowledges that there are "levels" to the situation but highlights the seriousness of the matter. The fact that the Big Ten has acknowledged the sign-stealing allegations raises concerns about the evidence at hand.
McAfee aligns with fellow ESPN hosts Shannon Sharpe and Stephen A. Smith in asserting that Michigan should not be allowed to compete in the College Football Playoff if found guilty of scouting opponents in person to steal signals.
While McAfee doesn't anticipate the NCAA concluding its investigation anytime soon, he believes that the Big Ten may feel the pressure to make a decision within the next month. "The NCAA won't make a ruling on this until 2030," he humorously remarks, "We all know how they roll."
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, however, takes a more assertive stance, insisting that Michigan should be banned from the College Football Playoff until the investigation is complete. He deems it "nonsensical" that the case remains open and demands an expedited process. Smith's viewpoint underscores the growing frustration among those closely following the Michigan sign-stealing saga.
Pat McAfee officially brought his weekday sports talk show to the ESPN network earlier this fall, becoming a prominent figure in the sports media landscape. ESPN's chairman, Jimmy Pitaro, praised McAfee's talent and the show's engagement with sports fans. As part of the deal, "The Pat McAfee Show" now airs on multiple ESPN platforms.
Michigan's Response and Future of the Program

As the investigation unfolds, it remains uncertain who knew about the sign-stealing activities within the Michigan program. Coach Jim Harbaugh, who is said to have no involvement or knowledge, finds himself at the center of speculation. This has led to diverse opinions on the appropriate course of action, with some Big Ten coaches calling for a suspension of Harbaugh.
Sign stealing, a contentious practice in college football, involves attempts to decipher and interpret opponents' signals and play calls. While the NCAA lacks a specific rule addressing sign stealing, it strictly prohibits off-campus, in-person scouting of opponents under NCAA Bylaw 11.6.1, enacted in 1994 to promote fairness and equity among programs with varying resources.
Michigan's predicament centers around allegations of dispatching individuals, led by the university's staffer and retired Marine Corps captain, Connor Stallions, to opponents' games. Their mission: to collect strategic information, including signals and play calls not visible in televised broadcasts. An external investigative firm provided evidence of cell phone videos showing the coaching staff from these games, uploaded to a computer drive accessed by Stallions and other Michigan assistants.
The timing is intriguing as well, with the alleged scheme coinciding with Michigan's remarkable success under Coach Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines posted a 29-3 record since 2021, predominantly excelling on the defensive side of the ball, where the alleged sign-stealing reportedly took place. The team's average rank in points allowed climbed from 31 before the alleged scheme to 5th afterward.
Furthermore, 2021 marked the year when Harbaugh signed a lucrative four-year extension worth $7.3 million annually. This contract renewal followed a lackluster COVID-shortened 2020 season and rumors of Harbaugh's potential return to the NFL. The NFL flirtations continued in 2022 with interviews for head coaching vacancies, ultimately ending with Harbaugh's return to Michigan.
While not a smoking gun, the confluence of factors, including pressure to win, a history of NCAA rule breaches, and NFL speculations, creates an environment where sign-stealing might have seemed like a viable means to achieve certain goals.


At the time of writing, Michigan, boasting a pristine 9-0 record, is on track for a potential third consecutive College Football Playoff berth. The looming investigation, however, casts a shadow over the team's accomplishments. With a crucial matchup against Penn State on the horizon, the Wolverines now face uncertainty about their playoff fate.

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