Will AJ McCarron Prove to be the Greatest Crimson Tide Quarterback of All Time?

Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

I say yes, he will - if he's not already.

Man in Black: [as he is unsuccessfully fighting Fezzik] Look, are you just fiddling around with me or what?

Fezzik: I just want you to feel you're doing well.

- The Princess Bride

We've already discussed that AJ McCarron has a legitimate shot to break most of the meaningful passing records at Alabama. What I wanted to do today was to check his progress after his first two "games."

First scrimmage.

Second scrimmage.

If AJ's performance in those first two scrimmages (scrimmagi?) were actually the first two games of the 2013 season (and yes, I know, you can't read anything into scrimmages - artificial and controlled environment, 1s and 2s, etc. - but the offseason is long), then in order to break pretty much every meaningful passing record at Alabama, AJ would need:


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As you can see, AJ would have already broken the school record for passing touchdowns. Even after two outstanding performances, the attempts and completion stats would still be out of realistic reach - but who cares? He'd be well ahead of schedule in terms of passing yards, slightly behind pace in terms of completion percentage, and about right on pace in terms of interception rate.

To provide some meaningless context for AJ's performance in the most recent scrimmage, the last (and only) starting quarterback to complete 82%+ of his passes against Coach Saban's Tide defense was Stephen Garcia of USCe in 2010 (85% - 17/20). Johnny Football appears to be #2, at 77.4% (24/31).

The last quarterback to pass for 319+ yards against Coach Saban's Alabama defense was Ryan Mallett at Arkansas in 2010 (357 passing yards). Since 2007, the only teams to pass for more than 319 yards against Alabama were 2007 LSU (388 yards), 2007 Colorado (322 yards), 2008 Utah (albeit in 2009 - 336 yards), and 2010 Arkansas (357 yards).

The last quarterback to pass for 5+ TDs against Coach Saban's Crimson Tide defense was... well... nobody. In fact, no team has thrown 4 TDs against Alabama in the Saban Age, and only 7 have thrown 3 (2007 Arkansas, 2007 LSU, 2007 Colorado, 2008 Florida, 2008 Utah (in 2009), 2010 South Carolina and the 2010 Auburnite). [Interesting Fact: starting in the 2009 season, Alabama has had roughly twice as many interceptions as allowed passing touchdowns each year - 11 TDs, 24 INTs in 2009; 12 TDs, 22 INTs in 2010; 6 TDs, 13 INTs in 2011; 8 TDs, 18 INTs in 2012.]

The last starter to have a passer rating of 236.77+ against a Saban-coached Alabama D was... again... nobody. The only to break the 200 mark were Cam Newton (205.22) and Stephen Garcia (208.92), although 2010 Jordan Jefferson came close (193.44).

I guess I'll just say what everyone else has been thinking (and saying). Unless: (1) our pass defense is taking a huge step back this year, and/or (2) Coach Saban put the pass defense in some very artificially disadvantageous positions during these scrimmages, AJ McCarron looks like he is poised to have an historically outstanding season.

Raw stats from www.cfbstats.com.

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