Michigan is fighting Alabama's attempted sign-stealing, too

There is game theory, and then there is the cold war brewing between Alabama and Michigan.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

When John Forbes Nash Jr. came up with his namesake equilibrium on the concept of game theory, who could have seen it matriculate its way down to Power Five college football? Basically, Alabama and Michigan are not going to use iPads to study film because they both believe the other party is hacking them. Michigan's sign-stealing ways were a black mark on this season, one Alabama is trying to end.

To me, this feels like an ultimate throwback, one of great quirkiness and tremendous stubbornness. This is just par for the course for The Nervous Bird himself, Jim Harbaugh, as well as one of the most recent users of email dating back to COVID in Nick Saban, aight. Oh, the Granddaddy of Them All will be featuring two granddaddies of all them head coaches in Saban and Harbaugh. This will be a doozy.

Harbaugh not only told us that Michigan is not using iPads to prepare for its national semifinal game vs. Alabama in the Rose Bowl, but he helped coin the one-of-a-kind phrase "Five-Star Jesus" as well.

“I don’t know that somebody said that. But I know there’s rumors out there about the Cloud and Catapult system, and our team is taking the same precautions.”

Rumors and lies have become synonymous with the Michigan program from its latest scandal.

“Rumor. People just started talking about that. We know very little about how that works."

Michigan may be the No. 1 seed, but the Wolverines have yet to win a single playoff game to date.

“I think our university server got hacked. I don’t think that had anything to do with it, and please know I’m not accusing anybody of anything. Just really don’t know.”

Here is Harbaugh's Rose Bowl Media Day press conference ahead of The Granddaddy of Them All.

Here is Michigan player Roman Wilson echoing Harbaugh's sentiment about those blasted iPads.

Newfangled widgets and gizmos be damned, this game will be a refreshing blast from the past, aight.

Michigan and Alabama go full-blown Nash equilibrium over iPad nonsense

As far as how concerned Saban is about the whole thing, he is not concerned at all, so quit askin'!

“I’m not concerned about that. Our players have had every opportunity to get ready for this game just like any other game. It’s not an issue that I’m concerned about or that our players are concerned about or is worth discussing here 48 hours before the game.”

So if we are to have a Rose Bowl without the help of iPad film study, who does this game serve more?

All things equal, it should favor Michigan. The Wolverines have the best position group in this national semifinal with their incredible pass rush. We have seen Michigan win six games without Harbaugh as their acting head coach. We know that offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore can be trusted in a big spot, as well as defensive coordinator Jesse Minter. Of course, Harbaugh is a big cause for concern.

If there is a head coach to trust less in a high-stakes bowl game than Harbaugh, you tell me. Winning in late December and very early January has never been his forte at the collegiate level. Although the Crimson Tide will occasionally lay an egg in the postseason, Saban is the best head coach in college football history for a reason. His team is back in the College Football Playoff, so you better watch out!

To me, the more and more Michigan makes this about iPads, the less likely they are to beat Alabama.

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