The last decade of Alabama quarterbacks clinched the legacy of Nick Saban as the college football G.O.A.T. — or greatest of all time for those previously familiar with that phrase through livestock — according to AL.com’s Joseph Goodman.
“For seven consecutive seasons, Alabama football had a future NFL franchise quarterback running the offense for coach Nick Saban,” Goodman wrote. “Quick strikes and fast times. Hearts soared and hearts sank. There was a last-second national championship loss (2017 against Clemson), and a walk-off, overtime national championship stunner (2018 against Georgia). In total, it was a dazzling display of aerial excellence that cemented Alabama coach Nick Saban as the greatest ever, and it all came immediately after an era when Alabama running backs ran roughshod over the SEC.”
Goodman was referring to Jalen Hurts’ two seasons starting in Tuscaloosa (2016, 2017), Tua Tagovailoa’s two years starting (2018, 2019), Mac Jones lone year as QB1 (2020), and Bryce Young’s two seasons manning the helm the past two seasons (2021, 2022).
The three seasons prior, all three quarterbacks (Jake Coker, Blake Sims, A.J. McCarron) would be at least signed by an NFL team. Two of them (Coker and McCarron) helped deliver a national championship to the Crimson Tide at some point in their Alabama careers.
Alabama Can Claim ‘Special Quarterback Dynasty’
Goodman believes that in particular, Tagovailoa, Jones, and Young give Alabama its own “special quarterback dynasty.” The AL.com reporter also doubts such a dynasty will ever be matched by another program.
“With Tagovailoa, Jones and Young, Alabama can now claim its own special quarterback dynasty,” Goodman wrote. “Young will give Alabama three first-round quarterbacks over a four-year span. It’s an unprecedented achievement. Will we ever see anything like it again? Not likely. In the history of Florida football, which was long considered the quarterbacking capital of the SEC, the Gators have only produced four first-round quarterbacks all-time. Tennessee, Auburn and Georgia: two each.”
It’s questionable if the dynasty will be continued with the current Crimson Tide quarterback situation, but stranger things have happened.
Analyst Picks Jalen Hurts as Best of Alabama QB Dynasty
Goodman made his pick on who is the best quarterback of the Crimson Tide quarterback dynasty, choosing Hurts due to his “comeback potential.”
“Who was the best of Alabama’s four dynastic signal callers? That’s a tough one,” Goodman wrote. “Each quarterback can claim different bragging rights of superiority. Personally, I’ll take Hurts for his comeback potential.”
“Tua had the best quarterback rating for his career (199.4),” Goodman wrote. “Mac is the only quarterback to go undefeated (13-0 in 2020). Bryce is the only one to win the Heisman Trophy. Jalen just signed a contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles making him the highest paid player per season in NFL history ($51 million). If Bryce goes No.1 overall, he’ll have that over everyone, too.”
Goodman ribbed that Young would be a gridiron Icarus should he ever let his success get to his head given his unique pitfall among the quarterback group while at Alabama.
” I have a good feeling that the other three won’t let the latest Alabama first-round quarterback get too cocky, though,” Goodman prefaced before saying, “Jalen, Tua and Mac never lost to Tennessee.”