AJ McCarron will go down as Alabama’s best quarterback ever


AJ McCarron has just about accomplished everything as an Alabama quarterback. He’s won two national championships in two years as the starter, and he looks to become the first player in FBS history to win three as a starter.

McCarron made it known early his intentions of returning for his senior season, and he ultimately returned to play with his brother, Corey, a South Alabama tight end transfer who redshirted in 2012. He may have not been a top draft pick this draft class, but he would have certainly been coveted based on a weak quarterback draft.

In what he calls ‘the best game of his life’, McCarron delivered on college football’s biggest stage. He carved up the Irish’s defense with ease, completing 20 of 28 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns.

And with another strong campaign in 2013, McCarron will go down as the Tide’s best quarterback in a long line of star-studded quarterbacks. He’ll finish better than Kenny Stabler, Pat Trammel and Joe Namath. No other quarterback has had the pressure McCarron has dealt with to win championships, simply because Alabama demands it. And he delivers.

Sure, he’s benefited from great players and coaches around him. But to deliver when the game is on the line, that’s McCarron’s specialty.

He has thrown for 5,956 yards and 49 touchdowns in two full years as a starter, and he’s already cemented himself firmly in the Bama record book with one year left to play.

Already Owns

  • McCarron already holds the most passing touchdowns in Alabama history with 49. Last season’s 30 moved him past John Parker Wilson, who finished his career with 47.
  • McCarron already owns the highest completion percentage of any quarterback in Bama history with a minimum of 200 completions with 66.7, pending 2013’s outcome. Greg McElroy finished his career with 66.3 percent.

Looking To Break

  • McCarron looks to become the first Alabama QB to throw for 3,000 yards in a season.
  • McCarron is 25-2 in his career as a starter, and Jay Barker still leads as Bama’s all-time winningest quarterback with a .934 clip and an overall record of 35-2-1.
  • McCarron trails JPW for most passing yards in Bama history. Wilson finished with 7,924 yards, and McCarron currently sits fourth with 5,956 yards, behind Andrew Zow, Brodie Croyle and Wilson. He needs only 1,968 yards to pass Wilson.
  • McCarron trails JPW for most attempts (1,175) with 690. He needs 486 to overtake JPW, but he’s only averaged 321 attempts in last two seasons.
  • McCarron also trails JPW for most completions (665) in a career. AJ currently has 460 completions and has completed an average of 215 the last two years.

Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports



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  • I’m not sure you can even compare today’s QBs to QBs from the 60s….It was all about Rushing and defense then…oh wait, well ok in that case you can compare McCarron to them because his defenses have always been top 3 and well, we all saw what his OL and Running backs do to set the table….never mind.

  • What kills me is how he is ranked so low on all the upcoming Heisman lists. He was in the teens on one I saw. How can a 2 time national championship quarterback be so low? Seriously. Manziel was amazing but McCarron has a ton of hardware. He needs to be in the talks.

    • Heisman has nothing to do with hardware…it’s about being the best player in the nation…McCarron has never even been the best player on his team.

      • Hey just because you Georgia fans think that Aaron Murray is the best thing since sliced bread doesnt mean that you can talk trash about the best Quarterback in the SEC.

  • Did you know that Alabama rushed for 160 first downs last year? And they only passed for 131. Florida was the only team in the sec with a more run-heavy balance in that category and they may as well have been an option team. In fact McCarron and Driskel also averaged the same amount of drop backs per game (20)…but yes McCarron did much better than Driskel with his chances. And obviously his stats show that. But can you really say that McCarron had a lot of pressure on him? And how many times throughout the season was “the game on the line” anyways? LSU, Tamu, and UGA? Well throw UGA out because they just slammed the ball down our throat when they needed a score late. And we all know what happened vs TAMU. So he came through once with the game on the line? Dont get me wrong I think McCarron is a very good QB and I hate to beat a dead horse. He runs the Alabama system perfectly, and obviously that system works (most will when you dominate the line of scrimmage). Whether or not he would excel on a lesser team or one that placed more of the burden on him is a question we will likely never know. I will not dispute his ranking amongst Bama QBs or vs QBs that wore single bar helmets and threw blocks for their RBs more than they passed the ball. But I will say that I am far more impressed with his OL and coaching staff (and girlfriend) than I am his individual efforts to date.

    • Don’t get me wrong. I agree with just about everything you’ve said. I have to agree that Alabama has been cranking out the all star RB’s as of late and yes, we all know what they can do when they really want to. The moment Fluker went to the huddle and screamed at his team mates it was like that OL came to life and completely shredded UGA to pieces. Anyhow, the basis for my statement is that I think any QB who legitimately can claim he is in the running for a 3rd national title deserves to be in the Heisman talks. That’s just my opinion personally and my opinion generally differs pretty strongly from what the people who choose the Heisman believe (Teo comes to mind).

      • Teo, just like Mathieu the year before was nothing more than an ESPN hype campaign gone way too far. Good thing is I believe they got it right in the end by giving it to Manziel and RG3. Those two exemplify what the Heisman is supposed to be. Its not based on what the team accomplishes…sure it helps to win though. Its not based on what you did the year or years before. Its about what you do as an individual THIS season to standout. What did you do as an individual for your team that took them to the next level. I dont think anyone could argue that RG3 and Manziel were not the MVPs of their team and were the main reason cor their success. The 2013 winner should be no different.

  • Bahaha what a surprise to see Georgia fans hating. JP always whining about how good the O-line and RBs are. I guess I’d be mad too if my team fell short every single year.

    • Dearbravesheep, why you gotta be dissin’ these SEC-minded folks? I don’t think you’re really a ‘Bama fan; we’re above starting trash-talk & cheap-shots like that, especially when SEC brethren are complimenting our Tide like JP & Buck. Roll Tide and Go SEC…let’s keep the crystal footballs in the SEC, where they belong!!!

    • Dear brave sheep what a SUPRISE to see you showin your arrogance once again embarrassing the classy Bama fans…the fact that AJ does not carry the burden is a testament to your team and coaching staff…This discussion was based solely on his individual performance. So glad you could join in and bring all of your usual brilliance and points…only thing missing in your statement was a big RMFT at the end.

      • To be honest, you sound like you’re probably still butthurt that you all couldn’t close the deal. Say, did they ever find Aaron Murray’s head after Quinton Dial took it off?

        • Butthurt? Hahaha wow…how many times to you use that word on a daily basis? im guessing a good bit…especially after ol harvey climbs off of ya. Wonder how many Updyke trolls I can piss off with one comment? What’s next? make fun of our black jerseys or something? Maybe put on your Tebow tear Tshirts (which I know you still own) and go on a mad tree-poisoning spree or just find some defenseless drunk to take out your homo-erotic fantasies on. If anything does run Saban outta Tuscaloosa it’ll surely be you idiots. How many of you will get arrested tea bagging his statue when that happens?

        • Disclaimer: These comments are not intended for any Of the many Bama fans on this site who actually carry on some sort of an intelligent conversation that pertains to the actual topic at hand. In fact if you do not use the term “Hatin” on every thread or if you have never used “Butthurt” on any thread this does not apply to you. Thanks and have a great evening

  • You left out Bart Star as one of the greatest QB’s in Alabama history.

  • JP all you do is make excuses excuses excuses and then at the end of your banter you add something to the affect of “I’m not saying he isn’t a good QB” just so you can cover your end in case someone points you out for being a pure hater. Have you ever questioned whether Aaron Murray can play like he does on a lesser team? Have you ever mentioned Goergia’s running game or their defense and how they can and have kept their limping offense in games (see first half of 2011 SEC championship game)? You give the entire Alabama program more credit than you have ever given McCarron, maybe because you have an ‘I <3 Murray' shirt under your every day wardrobe, and really it's just kind of silly. No, he isn't the best QB in CFB, no he doesn't throw 40 times a game, yes he has a ridiculous offensive line, BUT when he does throw it he has great success.

    As for the "SEC-brethren" comment, I'm a fan of my team. Not a conference. I've never understood conference pride. There is no such thing as success-by-proxy. These days with so much conference re-alignment I don't understand how people can put so much stock into it. Is the SEC currently the best conference? Not debatable. I'm a fan of my team, I enjoy the SEC rivalries, southern football culture, and love for the game but I sure as hell don't want to see any other team raise crystal at the end of the year.

    • Ok first off…I can respect your last paragraph and feel the same way about the whole SEC thing…As for my excuses…what do I need excuses for? Last time I checked this article didn’t have anything to do with Aaron Murray or UGA and neither did my comments. Now if this was a discussion about who’s the better QB ya damn right I will make my argument as I have before because that’s what I’m here for. Damn sure ain’t here to go from article to article calling people “haters” just because they don’t worship everything UGA does. Winning titles is something to be proud of and is the ultimate TEAM accomplishment but that does not necessarily make your QB and every other player on the team better than the rest. If you don’t think it’s easier to play QB when the opponents are forced to pull their safeties up on a regular basis then you just don’t know football. And since you brought up UGA yes we improved the running game last season but the OL was still developing and nowhere near what Bama’s was. Do I think Murray is the best QB in the country? Or in UGA history talent wise? No, but he has been the MVP and focal point on an offense that has been slowly developing around him for 3 years and finally reaching its full potential. Can you say the same for AJ?

    • Dearbravesheep, I have mixed feelings about conference pride as well but I kind of play it a certain way. I really dislike our rivals but I am always proud to see all the teams in the SEC do good. Thats why the SEC is so powerful as a whole. We all know any of the top 5-6 SEC teams last year probably could have taken down Notre Dame. So in that sense I disagree with you. As for the rest of everything you’ve said. I just really hope you have been this die hard of an Alabama for most of your life because if you were to be one of the bandwagon fans you would just have to read your comments to understand why most of us hate Alabama fans. I run into more people with Alabama crap all over their cars that know less about Alabama football then I do and its just really annoying to run into the arrogant a-holes.

  • Keep in mind that he did all of this while going up against the most premier defenses the SEC has seen in years. Well done AJ! Proud to say I was there for one of your two losses. Go Cocks.