Alabama football has been filthy rich at just about every position throughout its proud history, and quarterback in particular has been an absolute treasure trove, particularly in the past decade during the College Football Playoff era.

Nick Saban had a few really good signal-callers during his early years in Tuscaloosa, headlined by AJ McCarron, but the talent under center in T-Town has reached historical levels in recent seasons as Saban’s teams started to win more with offense than defense. Since 2014, when college football’s top division finally transitioned to a 4-team Playoff system, the Crimson Tide have been able to lean on a parade of excellence at the quarterback position that’s been mesmerizing for fans and devastating for opposing defenses.

One stud QB after another, whether of the drop back or dual-threat variety, has helped Bama rip off 3 more national championships during the first 9 seasons of the Playoff era, with Jalen Milroe having the opportunity to make it 4 titles in 10 years a few short weeks from now.

Milroe is just the latest Tide quarterback to achieve stardom.

He didn’t drop the baton, as many feared and many others hoped.

Milroe kept Alabama’s quarterback assembly line moving.

He’s The Latest One, but he’s hardly The Best One, right?

So who is? Who is the greatest of all these great Bama QBs of the Playoff era, and how would we rank the magnificent 7 who have played the position so well over the past decade?

It’s like the rich guy having to choose whether to drive the Mercedes, the Porsche or the Ferrari to work in the morning. No matter what, you’re sitting pretty, right?

Still, at the risk of endless arguments and general boisterous banter on the subject, we’re going to give this inexact science a shot and power rank the Crimson Tide quarterbacks who’ve dazzled fans since 2014. Just remember, this order has nothing to do with pro careers or time spent playing for other college programs. It’s purely based on their moments in an Alabama uniform.

Let the screaming begin …

7. Jalen Milroe

Being last on this list is like being the delicious pizza that’s just a little smaller than the other delicious pizzas, so there’s a little less to enjoy. Get it?

Don’t forget that just a few short months ago, Milroe was benched in favor of Tyler Buchner, who is now in the transfer portal … because he wants to play lacrosse. Milroe handled the brief demotion beautifully, being the team’s biggest cheerleader on the sidelines as Bama sleepwalked to an ugly victory that signaled to Saban that maybe Milroe was the way to go, after all.

He was. All Milroe did was lead the Tide to 10 straight wins after he got his job back, threw for 2,718 yards and 23 touchdowns with just 6 interceptions for the season while rushing for 468 yards and 12 more TDs. More important than his solid stats, Milroe authored the 4th-down miracle in the Iron Bowl, helped keep hated Georgia from a 3-peat by beating the Dawgs in the SEC title game, and he has the Tide back in the Playoff when many were thinking the Bama dynasty was done and maybe Milroe wasn’t the guy to replace Bryce Young.

Milroe did all of this in his 1st season as the starter, and he recently announced he’s coming back for an encore in 2024. Depending on what Bama does in the Playoff and next season with Milroe back, his place on this same list a little over a year from now could be very different.

6. Jake Coker

Coker finally got his in 2015 after sitting behind Blake Sims the year before. And like Sims, Coker was rewarded for his patience. He transferred to Bama from Florida State, where he sat behind star quarterbacks EJ Manuel and Jameis Winston while also enduring a knee injury in 2013 that ended his time in Tallahassee. Coker didn’t have to sit out a season when he left FSU because he graduated in April of 2014, and when he lost out to Sims for the starting job at Bama that fall, Coker didn’t get discouraged.

Instead, he came back determined the next year, won the job and after an early-season home loss to Ole Miss, the Coker-led Crimson Tide never lost again. Like Sims, Coker led Bama to an SEC championship and a spot in the Playoff. Unlike Sims, Coker helped take the Tide all the way, helping Saban win his 4th national title in Tuscaloosa. After throttling Michigan State in the semifinals, Coker even outdueled Deshaun Watson in a 45-40 shootout against Clemson in the championship game — with a little help from Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, of course. And that’s also why Coker is behind Sims on this list despite having the national title that Sims doesn’t as a starting quarterback.

Coker was wonderful in 2015, but, again, he had Henry, who produced the greatest single-season by an SEC running back in history. And Sims won out when the 2 went head-to-head for the job the year before. Coker’s passing stats (3,110 yards, 21 touchdowns, 8 interceptions) were solid but not at Sims’ level. We’re also not penalizing Coker for being a drop-back passer, but Sims could impact a game with his arm and legs, so Coker being 6th on this list feels right, crazy as that is for a national champion QB.

5. Blake Sims

This guy was a wonderful study in patience. After toiling in T-Town as a backup quarterback to AJ McCarron and even a running back, Sims finally got his shot as a senior in 2014 when the Playoff format began. He beat out Coker for the starting QB job, which is part of why he’s ranked above Coker on this list, and he rewarded Saban with a record-setting season. Sims broke the Bama single-season passing yards record held by McCarron, who kept Sims from getting under center all those years. He piled up 3,487 yards passing and 28 touchdown tosses, and naturally he was a weapon with his legs, too, with 350 yards rushing and 7 TDs.

Sims wasn’t just a stat machine, either. He won games, keeping Saban’s machine going. Sims led the Crimson Tide to an 11-1 regular season, helped them capture another SEC title with a rout of Missouri and became the answer to the trivia question of who the first Bama quarterback was to start in a Playoff game? That Playoff semifinal against eventual national champion Ohio State didn’t go so well, as Sims tossed 3 interceptions in a 42-35 loss. Still, Sims made his 1 and only season in the spotlight count.

4. Mac Jones

You know you’re dealing with an embarrassment of riches when Jones isn’t even in the top 3 on this list. But that’s the cold (and cool) reality, because when you look at the total body of work and the Tide legends Jones is being compared with, he just has to be No. 4. Now, there’s another reality, and it’s that Jones is a Bama legend himself, because that 2020 season was a thing of beauty. After getting a taste of success at the end of the 2019 season when Tua Tagovailoa was injured, Jones was astoundingly good the following fall amid all the distractions created by the COVID pandemic.

As weirdness swirled around the world and college football, Jones was Bama’s rock, or 1 of them, throwing for an eye-popping 4,500 yards, with a ridiculous 77.4 completion percentage, 41 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions in only 13 games.

3. Jalen Hurts

Remember, this list is based on football played solely in an Alabama uniform. Perhaps if we counted his brief but very impressive time in the NFL or even that stellar final collegiate season at Oklahoma — when he threw for 3,851 yards and 32 TDs, with 1,298 rushing yards and 20 more scores on the ground — then Hurts would certainly be higher than No. 3 on this list. But this is an Alabama-only list, and that means nothing else counts. Another moment that keeps Hurts from being 1 or 2 is that 2017 season national title game, when he struggled after being so magnificent in getting the Tide to the precipice of a championship. Hurts won a ring, but only after Tagovailoa rescued him in relief that night.

That was the last game Hurts started at Alabama. Spending the 2018 season as Tua’s backup wasn’t what Hurts had in mind, and even that SEC title game win over Georgia when the tables were turned and he replaced an injured Tagovailoa to help the Tide beat the Bulldogs couldn’t keep Hurts in Tuscaloosa in 2019. It was a heck of a run in T-Town for Hurts, who in 2016 became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Bama in 32 years. Hurts was a dual-threat machine as a freshman, too, running for 954 yards and 13 touchdowns while leading the Tide to a championship game rematch with Clemson — which they lost in the final seconds after a Hurts TD run had given them the lead with 2 minutes left.

Hurts was really so close to being arguably the best quarterback in Alabama history. Some would still probably argue he is.

2. Bryce Young

Young’s 2021 season was magical, with insane statistics (4,872 yards passing, 47 TDs, 7 interceptions), an SEC Championship victory over Georgia and the elusive Heisman that all of the previous Bama star quarterbacks throughout history had somehow failed to win. He also won AP Player of the Year, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Maxwell Award, the Manning Award and, of course, was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year and an All-American. But the magic ran out in early January 2022, when Young tossed 2 interceptions, including a game-sealing pick-6, in the national title game as the Tide fell to Georgia in the rematch. If Young had led Alabama to a win that night, it likely would’ve put him atop this list instead of the runner-up spot.

Young came back the next season hungry to duplicate the 2021 ride, with a better ending this time, but Bama lost a lot of the weapons Young had meshed so well with in 2021. Despite missing 1 game with a shoulder injury in 2022, Young put up very solid numbers, throwing for 3,328 yards, 32 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions, with another 4 TDs on the ground. But Bama didn’t even get back to Atlanta, much less the Playoff, and Young’s collegiate career was suddenly over when, as expected, he entered the NFL Draft instead of coming back for his senior season. His time in T-Town was like a shooting star, as it arrived and was gone too quickly, with everything but a national title (as a starter, at least).

1. Tua Tagovailoa

Yeah, we realize that Tua never won a Heisman Trophy, like Young did. But he did just about everything else you could in a Crimson Tide uniform, and he might’ve accomplished even more had his final season in 2019 not been cut short by a high ankle sprain, a dislocated hip, a fractured posterior wall, a broken nose and a concussion. It took all of that (over 2 painful games) to end his spectacular Bama career prematurely. Tagovailoa, a winner and a warrior, literally had to be carted off the field against Mississippi State to keep him from coming back for more punishment. All he did in parts of 9 games that season was throw for 2,840 yards, with 33 touchdown passes and only 3 interceptions.

He was gallant right to the end, but what most will remember him for, and what gives him the nod over Young, Hurts and Jones on this list, was what Tua did at the beginning. His “hello college football world” moment was the stuff of legends, as he replaced an ineffective Hurts in the 2nd half of the 2017 season’s national title game against Georgia and threw 3 TD passes, including the game-winner on “2nd-and-26” to fellow freshman DeVonta Smith in overtime. Instantly, he was etched in Alabama football lore. In 2018, after supplanting Hurts as the starter, Tagovailoa had a season for the ages, throwing for 3,966 yards, with 43 TD passes, just 6 interceptions and 5 rushing scores. He did enough to win the Heisman but picked the wrong year, finishing 2nd to Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray while earning 299 1st-place votes and 1,871 points, the most by a runner-up in Heisman history.

Nobody else on this list of Alabama quarterback gems had the combination of stats, flair and winning moments spread over 3 seasons, in a Tide uniform at least, and just imagine if Tua had come back in 2020 for his senior season instead of going pro.