So is there anything real to this, or is it just a conspiracy theory?
As interesting as the theories are about this, right now it is without substantive evidence. Brice’s article did not indicate which team might have benefitted from Michigan’s sign-stealing. Every source that links Brice’s statement to Tennessee and/or Clemson is doing it speculatively.
That said, there sure is a lot of circumstantial evidence.
The story about TCU suggests that Michigan was definitely using the information that was being generated by Stalion’s efforts. It just backfired against TCU. It would also help explain why a TCU team that was throttled by Georgia was potentially so successful stopping Michigan’s offense from scoring.
Who tipped TCU’s hand? Did a conspirator betray the scheme and leak information? Did someone go rogue? Could someone have taken the initiative to slip info to other programs? Or did TCU figure it out on their own?
The background of how this whole thing came about is just weird. The NCAA was tipped off to Stalion’s enterprise by a private firm. It is unknown which firm provided the information, and it is unknown who hired the firm.
It is clear that Stalions is the Bugs Meany here, and it does feel like we are just on the tip of finding out what has been going on in Ann Arbor. I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that some of these rumors turn out to be true.
However, reality has to be noted. If South Carolina had Clemson’s defensive signals, it wouldn’t explain why Phil Mafah and Antonio Williams both fumbled the ball on special teams. It wouldn’t explain why the offensive coordinator inexplicably stopped running the football in the second half of the game.
This is interesting, but nothing to believe in….yet.