Who are your top 5 Bama QBs all-time?

bamamc1

Hall of Fame
Oct 24, 2011
5,437
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Haleyville, AL
Gary Hollingsworth before Barker. 92 won with defense and running game/Palmer.
Gary is a personal friend. When he ran Coach Smith’s offense it was a thing of beauty. They would utilize Lamonde Russell and line him up at different spots in the formation. A linebacker could not cover him period. Kevin Turner at fullback could run it and catch out of the backfield. Siran, was a beast at tailback. Wow.
 

bamamc1

Hall of Fame
Oct 24, 2011
5,437
3,995
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Haleyville, AL
I am only going with guys from the modern era . As in the past 30 years and I'll only go with 3 ....
1 - Tua
2 - Mac
3 - AJ

As for Hurts , I view his time at Alabama as a net negative .
Bryce was a very unique , miniature athlete . Sort of half Doug Flutie and half Kyler Murray . In other words , anything other than a championship level QB . I could expand on that , but would rather bow out other than saying Carolina fans witnessed just about what I had expected .
What, someone running for his life with no help? Yes you witnessed that.
 

Alogan1983

Suspended
Feb 12, 2024
35
28
27
Tua's career was disappointing tbh. He played 2 quarters of meaningful football for the 17 NC team...and then zilch. No more NCs, no Heismans. Mac and Bryce have him there. It's not Tua was bad, he obviously was great, but he was fragile. It is what it is. Hurts had to return the favor in 18 or Bama loses that game against UGA.
 

BamaMoon

Hall of Fame
Apr 1, 2004
21,172
16,592
282
Boone, NC
Tua's career was disappointing tbh. He played 2 quarters of meaningful football for the 17 NC team...and then zilch. No more NCs, no Heismans. Mac and Bryce have him there. It's not Tua was bad, he obviously was great, but he was fragile. It is what it is. Hurts had to return the favor in 18 or Bama loses that game against UGA.
I have him #1 in terms of arm talent and accuracy. But mainly it was the supreme confidence I had when he was under center. 3rd and 8 was just as convertible with him as 3rd and 1.

He suffered from trying to be too heroic at times (failure to let the play die) but in his defense his coming out play was in backup the year he did a twirly bird and still found Juedy in the endzone for one of the more amazing plays I've ever seen. That game was over and it didn't matter except it showed there was something special about him but it probably reinforced a bad lesson.

Of course. the two quarters you refer to in the NC game probably are the two most important quarters of his Bama career. Literally, without those the entire football landscape changes if Georgia wins that game. Tua to Smitty will be the greatest play in college football history until there's another walkoff bomb for to win the NC. It'll happen one day, but probably not anytime too soon.

If we are using NC as the #1 criteria, AJM is probably the greatest QB to ever wear the Crimson. He left with 3 NC rings (two as starter) and honestly, it should have been 4 because that 2013 team was loaded and should have 3 peated.
 

BamaInBham

All-American
Feb 14, 2007
4,467
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Top 5
Tua
- just an incredible thrower of the football. Accurate, quick as a cat throwing, guts of a burglar. 3rd and 15? Big deal - it seemed like a 60% chance of conversion. He revived a tradition of high-end Alabama QBs.
Bryce - elusive (other than Daniels, the most elusive QB I can remember), smart and cool, great student of the position. (Played in a "meaningless", non-playoff, bowl game in his last year. Had a great game and continued a great example of Alabama players playing for their team when many don't for fear of injury or "more work". Especially a high draft pick like Bryce.) Won the Heisman trophy. Was the number 1 pick in the NFL draft.
Namath - forget stats - different game. Also, Shea Stadium. Few dump offs to RBs or short game of any kind to enhance comp %. Everything was downfield. IMO, Bryce would have had a 35-40 comp % with all of the downfield passing. Was a great athlete and smart and a great guy. He was the number 1 draft pick and more physically gifted than Bryce until injured. Became a transcendent 60s sports personality. More so than Bo Jackson but in a different way.
Stabler - same as Namath and all pre-80s QBs. Led Alabama to an undefeated season in 1966. Also, a great athlete and smart. Very accurate for his day. Great deep ball.
Mac - accurate and smart. Led Alabama to a historically great offensive season and NC in 2020.

Other great QBs:
Dixie Howell
- along with Hutson, is credited by some as creating the first pass patterns in football history. Led Alabama to a NC in 1934, going 10-0 and easily handling undefeated Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Coach Bryant was the "other end" that year; Riley Smith was also on that team. In college football HOF.
Harry Gilmer - led Alabama to a 1945 season Rose Bowl victory (worse than the 34-14 score indicated in the boat-race over USC who was previously 9-0 in Rose Bowls. (That was the last "open" Rose Bowl as they wanted to keep the riff-raff out and include only moral stalwarts like PSU, MSU, Mich, OSU, Ill, NW, et al.)), along with upright hosts like USC, Cal, Wash). Alabama finished 10-0 and 2nd in AP to Army. Was a national phenom, making the jump pass famous. In college football HOF. Twice finished 5th in Heisman voting at a time when the South was often overlooked.1st pick of the 1948 NFL draft.
Steve Sloan - one of the more underrated players in Alabama's history. Took over for Namath when injured in 64 and led the team in the 2nd half of the season to a NC. Led Alabama to the NC in 65 with a thrilling upset win over Neb in the Orange Bowl. Threw for 296 yards, an anomaly for the day. A bowl record for Alabama for decades, IIRC.
AJ McCarron - led Alabama to 2 NCs and a 36-4 record in his 3 starting years. Was a good passer who finished 2nd in Heisman his Sr year. Held most of Alabama's passing records at the time he left.
Pooley Hubert, Riley Smith - mostly leaders and runners, but both led Alabama to NCs and both are in the college football HOF. Smith was the 2nd player taken in the first NFL draft in 1936.

Great stories:
Pat Trammell
- was a great leader in a different way than Jay Barker. Mean and tough as nails - the personification of Coach Bryant's early teams. Led Alabama to Coach Bryant's first NC.
Jay Barker - few skills except leadership. Though not a very good or great college passer, he developed into a good college passer by his Sr year. Led Alabama to the 1992 NC.
Blake Sims - shockingly to fans, became Bama QB. His unselfish/team-first attitude and surprising skills made his year one of the most fun in Alabama history. Was a 2nd team All-SEC QB. In my years of following Alabama football (from Bryant forward), Blake along with Javier Arenas, for different reasons, are my 2 favorite players.
Jalen Hurts - Came to Alabama to be developed as a passer but was forced into action earlier (true Fr) than was good for his career. Played well but was surpassed by Tua (probably one of the more difficult decisions of CNS's career because Jalen is Saban's son in spirit). Handled the situation as well as anyone could. Ironically, but not surprisingly, he developed as a passer (begrudging kudos to Dan Enos) as he sat on the bench. In an amazing twist of fate, came off the bench in relief of Tua to win the 2018 SECC game.

Honorable mention:
Richard Todd
- a great athlete, who may have been the best NFL passer to ever spend his entire college career in the wishbone. Alabama lost 3 games in the 3 years he started at Alabama, though he shared QB with Gary Rutledge in 73, was injured parts of 74 and 75. QB'ed Alabama's first bowl victory in 9 years in the 1975 season Sugar Bowl win over PSU. Was a first round pick of the Jets in the 1976 draft. Beginning in '77, started for 7 years with the Jets with mixed results (made playoffs 2 years, including reaching the AFC champ game in '82). Then started a year with the Saints.
Jeff Rutledge - led Alabama to a NC in 1978
Steadman Shealy - led Alabama to a NC in 1979. (The man Coach Bryant wanted to speak with about spiritual matters late in his life.)
Walter Lewis - spanned the Bryant to Perkins transition
Gary Hollingsworth - won first post-Bryant SEC title in 1989.

Special mention:
Bart Starr
- primarily because of injury only started for one year at Alabama, but he won an SEC title. He went on to QB the most championships in NFL history until Tom Brady, winning 5 in 7 seasons, including the first 2 Super Bowls and the "Ice Bowl". He was a wonderful person and great representative of the University and state.
[Andrew Zow, Tyler Watts, Brodie Croyle] - pity they played on such mediocre teams. Shaun Alexander, Zow and Watts led Alabama to a surprise SEC title in 1999. With Croyle, Watts helped break UT's streak against Alabama in 2002. Watts ended up helping Alabama to two 10 win seasons during a dark time. Croyle helped with a 10 win season in the aforementioned 2002 season and led Alabama to another 10 win season in 2005. (These probably shouldn't be mentioned but can't help but thank them for coming to help in a dark day. If they had come at another time, their careers would have been very different.)
[JPW, GM] - good, not great QBs but JPW started the renaissance with his undefeated 2008 regular season, then GM had a great performance in the watershed SECC game vs UF as he QB'ed CNS's first NC at Alabama in 2009.
Jake Coker - tough leader, made several big plays in the 2nd half of a NC season, including the NC game, where he threw for over 300 yards - Alabama needed them all.
 

DawgAlum2054

1st Team
Dec 20, 2018
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Who went undefeated?

Who went undefeated in a 10 game SEC schedule?

Mac Jones is the best Alabama QB. I am not judging him based on his pro career

4500 yards with 2 less games and no cupcakes on the schedule is insane. paired with a 77% pass completion and only 4 interceptions with 41 touchdowns.

the ONLY reason he isnt number 1 on everyones list is that he did this for just 1 year and during a covid year.

Bryce had a great sophomore year, but had 2 more games than Mac Jones, cupcakes on the schedule (everyone has them normally) and lost 2 games

For me
1) Mac Jones
2) Tua
3) Bryce Young
 

selmaborntidefan

TideFans Legend
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Tua's career was disappointing tbh. He played 2 quarters of meaningful football for the 17 NC team...and then zilch. No more NCs, no Heismans. Mac and Bryce have him there. It's not Tua was bad, he obviously was great, but he was fragile. It is what it is. Hurts had to return the favor in 18 or Bama loses that game against UGA.
Moo.
 
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BamaInBham

All-American
Feb 14, 2007
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Who went undefeated?

Who went undefeated in a 10 game SEC schedule?

Mac Jones is the best Alabama QB. I am not judging him based on his pro career

4500 yards with 2 less games and no cupcakes on the schedule is insane. paired with a 77% pass completion and only 4 interceptions with 41 touchdowns.

the ONLY reason he isnt number 1 on everyones list is that he did this for just 1 year and during a covid year.

Bryce had a great sophomore year, but had 2 more games than Mac Jones, cupcakes on the schedule (everyone has them normally) and lost 2 games

For me
1) Mac Jones
2) Tua
3) Bryce Young
In terms of winning, football is a team game. The two games Bryce "lost", his team scored 38 and 18 points at A&M and vs UGA. The 18 was vs a far better UGA D than the injured OSU D Mac was throwing against. And after Metchie did not play and Williams went out early in the 2nd qtr, Bryce was throwing to Slade Bolden, Jacory Brooks and Traeshon Holden; with all due respect to them, the gap to Smith and Metchie is cavernous - Waddle played hurt. Bryce still threw for 370 yards and was driving for the tying TD with under 2 mins left. (The final score was very misleading.) Alabama could not run the ball well vs UGA, so they had to settle for FG attempts most trips into the redzone.

For the season, Mac was throwing behind a great OL, to Devonta Smith, Jaylon Waddle and John Metchie, with Steve Sarkisian calling plays; Bryce was darting, dodging and throwing behind a porous OL, to Jameson WIlliams, John Metchie and Slade Bolden, with Bill O'Brien calling plays. The team makes a great difference to a QB and there is no comparison between the two teams in those years.

Neither player is doing well in the NFL, but Bryce is facing the same issues he had at Alabama his 2nd year: bad OL, mediocre WRs. Hope he gets a chance with some help. Mac is dealing with issues he never faced at Alabama: bad coaching and mediocre offensive talent. Hope he gets another chance with a decent or good team.
 

TideEngineer08

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Beautiful Cullman, AL
1. Tua
2. Mac Jones
3. Bryce Young
4. Joe Namath
5. Jalen Hurts/Kenny Stabler

Tua won only one championship as a backup in 2017, yes. Also, he did not win a Heisman. Of course, only Bryce won that as a QB for Alabama. But trophies do not tell the entire story. Ask Dan Marino.

Mac had the best single season I've ever seen by a college QB. I don't care about half full stadiums. I don't care about whatever you want to say about the Covid season. That was an 11 game SEC schedule followed up by Notre Dame and Ohio State and he put up 4500 yards, 41 TDs, and just 4 INTs. I still say while Smitty deserved the Heisman, Mac not finishing second was an absolute travesty.

Bryce is 3rd because I simply don't see the tools and talent at the level of the top two guys. But he was a a magician on a broken play. First Heisman QB for Alabama.

Joe Namath was a cultural icon. In today's offenses he would have broken records. And modern surgery would have probably saved his career. It was a great career nontheless.

I can't leave Jalen or the Snake off the list. It's just impossible. If Nick Saban can have co-starters, I can have co-placements.
 

selmaborntidefan

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Tua's career was disappointing tbh. He played 2 quarters of meaningful football for the 17 NC team...and then zilch.
Yes, coming off the bench trailing, 13-0, in the biggest game of your life with zero starts under your belt is something anyone can do - which, of course, is why we see it every year, right?



No more NCs,
100% his fault the 2018 defense gave up 44 points.

no Heismans.
He finished 2nd and would have won it had a bunch of voters who know nothing about the sport not been impressed with "guy who is running the same offense for the same team as the QB won it last year".

How many other Bama QBs finished as high as 2nd prior to Tua? One



Mac and Bryce have him there.
Mac Jones - guy who couldn't beat out Tua is, in this bizarre scenario, the better QB because his TEAM had a bunch of Heisman candidates and won a national title. Bryce Young IS better than Tua as a college signal caller, but didn't win the national title. Of course, I think anyone going the "Greg McElroy is a better QB than Bryce Young because he won a national title" route is not really being consistent.

It's not Tua was bad, he obviously was great, but he was fragile.
Give him McCarron's 2012 O-line and tell me how it would look.


It is what it is. Hurts had to return the favor in 18 or Bama loses that game against UGA.
You don't know that. Alabama was only down by 7 points when Tua got hurt - and who's to say Tua doesn't score on the drive where he got hurt, which ended in an Alabama TD?

It's one thing to say, "Hurts came off the bench relieving Tua and led Alabama to the win."
It's another thing entirely to say, "If Tua stays in the game, Alabama loses." Bear in mind, Tua had not lost a game to that point. Furthermore, Georgia (in 2018) gave up (excluding the Alabama game) 234 points, 83 (35%) of which were in the FOURTH QUARTER. Now, we do have to be careful because the counter-argument is going to be, "Yes, but UGA gave up those points because they were blowing teams out and it was their 3rd string against the opposing first string."

But then again, Georgia gave up 17 points in the fourth quarter to LSU (three on a turnover). And they gave up 14 to Alabama, largely due to the botched fake field goal. So it's worth noting they were giving up points to the GOOD TEAMS they played that were still in relatively competitive games, too.


=========================

1) Bryce Young
2) Tua
3) Mac Jones


The other two are the most difficult and Namath requires his own post.
 

selmaborntidefan

TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
36,432
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Who went undefeated?

Who went undefeated in a 10 game SEC schedule?

Mac Jones is the best Alabama QB. I am not judging him based on his pro career

4500 yards with 2 less games and no cupcakes on the schedule is insane. paired with a 77% pass completion and only 4 interceptions with 41 touchdowns.

the ONLY reason he isnt number 1 on everyones list is that he did this for just 1 year and during a covid year.
These are great points.
I don't agree (not totally) with the conclusion, but you make some outstanding points.

Bryce had a great sophomore year, but had 2 more games than Mac Jones, cupcakes on the schedule (everyone has them normally) and lost 2 games
Give Sark to Bryce Young and saddle Mac with Bill O'Bumblin' and Mac Jones might well have gotten killed on the football field. And for Pete's sake, Bryce's offense scored FORTY- TWO POINTS in Knoxville in a losing effort and (everyone forgets this) threw for 70 more yards than Hendon Hooker did despite his RB scoring three times. He outslung Jayden Daniels for nearly twice as many yards on the road.

Here are Young's stats in the three games he lost (not including the national title game to UGA):
88 for 151
6 TDs
2 INT

All three games were lost ON THE LAST PLAY OF THE GAME, two on the road.
He led the offense to 31, 42, and 31 points, numbers which win games...if your defense is any good.

That being said, I was critical of Bryce for his refusal to dart for short runs to the end zone out of obvious fear of getting hit, too.
 

HighlandOak

1st Team
Mar 8, 2023
881
668
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Yes, coming off the bench trailing, 13-0, in the biggest game of your life with zero starts under your belt is something anyone can do - which, of course, is why we see it every year, right?





100% his fault the 2018 defense gave up 44 points.



He finished 2nd and would have won it had a bunch of voters who know nothing about the sport not been impressed with "guy who is running the same offense for the same team as the QB won it last year".

How many other Bama QBs finished as high as 2nd prior to Tua? One





Mac Jones - guy who couldn't beat out Tua is, in this bizarre scenario, the better QB because his TEAM had a bunch of Heisman candidates and won a national title. Bryce Young IS better than Tua as a college signal caller, but didn't win the national title. Of course, I think anyone going the "Greg McElroy is a better QB than Bryce Young because he won a national title" route is not really being consistent.



Give him McCarron's 2012 O-line and tell me how it would look.




You don't know that. Alabama was only down by 7 points when Tua got hurt - and who's to say Tua doesn't score on the drive where he got hurt, which ended in an Alabama TD?

It's one thing to say, "Hurts came off the bench relieving Tua and led Alabama to the win."
It's another thing entirely to say, "If Tua stays in the game, Alabama loses." Bear in mind, Tua had not lost a game to that point. Furthermore, Georgia (in 2018) gave up (excluding the Alabama game) 234 points, 83 (35%) of which were in the FOURTH QUARTER. Now, we do have to be careful because the counter-argument is going to be, "Yes, but UGA gave up those points because they were blowing teams out and it was their 3rd string against the opposing first string."

But then again, Georgia gave up 17 points in the fourth quarter to LSU (three on a turnover). And they gave up 14 to Alabama, largely due to the botched fake field goal. So it's worth noting they were giving up points to the GOOD TEAMS they played that were still in relatively competitive games, too.


=========================

1) Bryce Young
2) Tua
3) Mac Jones


The other two are the most difficult and Namath requires his own post.
My gosh, how do you remember all that, or even think to look it up?

Impressive.
 

selmaborntidefan

TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
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Btw, while I'm not sure where to place him, I'm putting A.J. McCarron in my top five.

Let me explain why.

As I'm looking over and trying simply to take the BEST YEAR from guys to make that comparison, it's kind of hard to tell which of McCarron's three years as a starter he was actually the best, particularly the last two:

2012 - 211 for 314 (67.2%), 2933 yards, 30 TD, 3 INT
2013 - 226 for 336 (67.3%), 3063 yards, 28 TD, 7 INT

He did play one more game in 2012 than 2013, but that is two incredibly consistent years back-to-back. But then look at his numbers in 2011:

219 for 328 (66.8%), 2634, 16 TD, 5 INT

Remember - he wasn't "really" the starter (for sure) and every non-Penn State game prior to LSU was a blowout, so as a first-year starter he wasn't throwing much because he didn't need to throw so much. But the attempts, completions, and percentage numbers are eerily similar to the next two years while the TDs (especially) are lower because we were putting games away. Plus, in 2011, he didn't have Amari Cooper to throw to, either, and Kevin Norwood was developing in 2011 as well.

RECEIVERS
2011 - Maze, Smelley, Gibson, Hanks, Bell, Trent out of the backfield
2012 - Amari, Norwood, Michael Williams, Bell, C. Jones, Lacy, Yeldon
2013 - Amari, Norwood, D. White, OJ Howard, Bell, Drake, Yeldon

His consistency compels me to choose him. Bryce had a superstar year but was injured and his numbers aren't so good in 2022. Tua the same. Mac was a one-year wonder (not his fault).

I have one more slot to fill.....

1) Bryce
2) Tua
3) Mac
4) AJ McCarron

(There's a compelling argument for Mac at #2).
 

theballguy

Hall of Fame
Nov 5, 2012
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Roll Tide Roll, Colorado USA
In order that I like them.

1. Jalen
2. AJ
3. Mac Jones
4. Jake Coker
5. Blake Sims

An unpopular opinion:

While an incredible QB, I don't feel like we got out of Tua what we should have. With his talent we should have gotten 2 NC's at least. Good kid but I feel like the 5 above had bigger hearts including Jalen Milroe.
 

tusks_n_raider

Hall of Fame
May 13, 2009
12,229
12,587
187
Mobile, AL
In order that I like them.

1. Jalen
2. AJ
3. Mac Jones
4. Jake Coker
5. Blake Sims

An unpopular opinion:

While an incredible QB, I don't feel like we got out of Tua what we should have. With his talent we should have gotten 2 NC's at least. Good kid but I feel like the 5 above had bigger hearts including Jalen Milroe.
I'm sorry but this is straight BS.

Tua played HIS GUTS out for UA

It's partly why he got injured because he would not give up on a play.

One of my best memories of Tua is in 2018 vs LSU with the SECW potentially on the line and because he's out there with a messed up knee and a brace on it and takes off on a 44 Yard TD run when he's at best 70%.

Imo the Toughest QB's under CNS were Coker, Tua, Jalen Hurts, and Mac

None of them were afraid to get their Jersey's Dirty.

But I don't know how anyone can say that Tua didn't play with Heart or wasn't Ultra Competitive.

That's just crap.
 

theballguy

Hall of Fame
Nov 5, 2012
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I'm sorry but this is straight BS.

Tua played HIS GUTS out for UA

It's partly why he got injured because he would not give up on a play.

One of my best memories of Tua is in 2018 vs LSU with the SECW potentially on the line and because he's out there with a messed up knee and a brace on it and takes off on a 44 Yard TD run when he's at best 70%.

Imo the Toughest QB's under CNS were Coker, Tua, Jalen Hurts, and Mac

None of them were afraid to get their Jersey's Dirty.

But I don't know how anyone can say that Tua didn't play with Heart or wasn't Ultra Competitive.

That's just crap.
Understood. I didn't say he didn't play with heart, he is just not a favorite of mine. He was very competitive. I just like 6 QBs in front of him more. That's all. He was not so great in the SEC Championship game with Georgia in 2018 and even worse against Clemson. And sure, LSU in 2019 was a buzzsaw. Just my opinion and I knew it would be unpopular lol.
 

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