Alabama Football: Is AJ McCarron the Greatest Crimson Tide QB Ever?

Ian BergCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 07:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after throwing a touchdown in the first quarter to Michael Williams #89 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on January 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

AJ McCarron stepped in for Alabama as the starting quarterback in 2011 and he has since won two consecutive national titles. 

The rising senior has the chance to own nearly every Alabama QB record next season, but before he even gets the chance to achieve it, in his two years as starter he has already cemented himself as the greatest Crimson Tide quarterback.

He is considered to be an early Heisman front-runner for 2013 after the blasting that his team gave Notre Dame in Miami for the Coaches’ Trophy. 

There have been a number of big names that have played quarterback for the Tide in the past. Guys like Brodie Croyle and Greg McElroy are still in the NFL, Kenny Stabler, Scott Hunter, Mike Shula and Joe Namath all were all-stars at Bama and spent time in the pros as well.

A number of Alabama quarterbacks have won national titles—after all, the Tide claim 15 of them—so that is not a solid measuring stick for the best quarterback in Bama history.

Looking at the record books coupled with the titles makes for a solid argument, and AJ McCarron is at the top of both lists.

The records start with McCarron being the only quarterback in Alabama history to guide back-to-back national title teams. He led Alabama to victory over LSU in 2011 and Notre Dame in 2012.

He became the first and only quarterback in the modern BCS era to accomplish the repeat title feat. McCarron has been very good at maintaining a steady balance for the Alabama offense. The two titles show that.

McCarron is now a leader in a number of Tide statistical categories. His 30 passing touchdowns this season is now the single season record for Alabama. The previous record was 20 and it was held by former teammate Greg McElroy.

Over the past two seasons McCarron has also been very selective with his throws, making him one of the most efficient passers in school history. He has the lowest interception percentage of any quarterback, sitting at a 1.2 percent mark after 2012. He has eight total interceptions in two years.

Looking at total touchdown passes in a game, McCarron has the distinction of hitting the list five times. He had four passing touchdowns once in 2011, and he hit the mark four times in 2012.

He is also second in the all-time winningest quarterback race for Alabama. The Tide have put together a number of winning seasons on the backs of some very talented quarterbacks, but only one has been better at winning that McCarron.

In two seasons as a starter, McCarron has a record of 25-2. That gives him a .926 win percentage. Jay Barker is No. 1 with a 35-2-1 record and .934 winning mark.

The final separating mark for McCarron is his 205 yards per game mark through two seasons. If he continues that charge, he will be the career leader for Alabama by 25 yards. John Parker Wilson is the current leader with a 180 yards per game stat line.

Looking back at the achievements of quarterbacks in the past and comparing them to McCarron, it is hard not to label him the best in Crimson Tide history. He has been a consistent winner, and he has the chance to become a major member of Tide football lore with a senior season left to play.

Look for McCarron to become one of the legendary names in Alabama history with his two national titles and possible Heisman campaign to come in 2013.