Jim Harbaugh, like any coach, has plenty of big decisions to make at the start of the college football season. But rather than turn to his playbook for answers, the Michigan head coach opened his Bible.
“People have asked, ‘How’d you come to that decision? Is it based on some kind of NFL model?’ No, it’s really, it’s ... biblical. Solomon — he was known for being a pretty wise person,” Harbaugh said during an Aug. 29 press conference as he tried to explain his choice not to designate one starting quarterback.
Instead of picking a starter, Harbaugh has decided to have two quarterbacks play in Michigan’s first two games.
“The eighth-ranked Wolverines will begin with Cade McNamara, who started at quarterback throughout last season, for this week’s opener against Colorado State. Sophomore J.J. McCarthy will make his first career start for the Wolverines on Sept. 10 against Hawai’i,” ESPN reported.
At the press conference, Harbaugh said this approach will ensure his team does not “withhold any good thing.”
“No person — that’s biblical — knows what the future holds,” he said. “It’s a process and it’s going to be based on performance, but we’re not going to withhold any good thing. Both have been tremendous quarterbacks. We think that both are capable of leading our team to a championship.”
Harbaugh, who is Catholic, was likely referencing Proverbs 27, which begins by saying, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”
The Bible passage goes on to discuss what can come of various types of human interaction.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another,” reads Proverbs 27:17.
Harbaugh’s comments also bring to mind Luke 12 and Psalm 84, Bible passages that discuss the good things available to God’s followers. The chapter in Luke also references Solomon, the biblical king that Harbaugh described as wise.
“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these,” reads Luke 12:27.
Although Harbaugh has been open about his faith throughout his career and recently spoke at a religious event, his comments on the biblical inspiration behind his quarterback decision still left some reporters scratching their heads.
“I’ve made my decision. I think by referring to King Solomon, Jim Harbaugh was saying that he’s threatening to cut the quarterback position in half,” tweeted Shehan Jeyarajah, referencing the Bible story in which Solomon threatens to cut a baby in half.