The Michigan family did something it promised never to do.
It turned its back on a Michigan Man. A good Michigan man. A Michigan man who did all he was asked to do. Quarterback Cade McNamara helped Michigan win a Big Ten championship, beat Ohio State and advanced Michigan to its first national championship semifinal.
He made plays when he had to. Teammates thought enough of him to vote him team captain.
But he was not sexy enough, not splashy enough for Blue Nation. He did not lose his job because he was not good enough. He lost his job because he was not splashy enough. So he did the right thing for himself and entered the transfer portal after fans bashed him for nearly two seasons. Why stay somewhere he is not wanted?
J.J. vs Cade
J.J. McCarthy was the new sexy plaything. And guess what? Folks bitched about him right up to the Ohio State victory, where he made the same throws McNamara did, where he performed about as well. The difference is McCarthy faced a bewildered Ohio State defense that left receivers so wide open that your grandmother probably could have made those plays.
“He’s got it,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “He’s got that “it” factor in every way.”
McCarthy got way more praise than he deserved after completing just 12 of 24 passes for 263 yards. He deserved some roses for his effort. But so did Donovan Edwards who rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns. So did the offensive line, which was so dominate it made Ohio State cry uncle. So did Cornelius Johnson, who was so wide open on two of his touchdown passes, it would be nearly impossible for him to be missed.
McCarthy made those simple pitches and catches, and Wolverine nation went wild. If McNamara made the same throws people would low key, it saying “anybody can make that throw.”
What Michigan did this season was fantastic. Too bad it discarded a good Michigan man who did nothing wrong.
CAN OHIO STATE RECOVER?
In boxing rematches, the man who got knocked out often demands a rematch. It seldom works out for him.
Michigan landed a devastating knock out and it might take the Buckeyes time to recover. No matter the score. No matter how well Ohio State plays, the Buckeyes know that Michigan can deliver a knockout at any time. It’s happened two years in a row where Ohio State did not get beat. Ohio State got beaten up.
The Big Ten now belongs to Michigan until further notice.
Photo: © Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK