The Greatest Player of the Saban Era, Round 1, Match 1: Julio Jones vs. Courtney Upshaw

Streeter Lecka

Who was the greatest player to wear the Crimson and White while Coach Saban has roamed the sidelines at Bryant-Denny? Let's Check:

"I must have a prodigious amount of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up!"

- Mark Twain

Here at RBR, we have consulted ancient formulae and thrown the bones to compile a list of the sixteen greatest players to have donned the Crimson and White under Coach Saban. These players are Julio Jones, Courtney Upshaw, Chance Warmack, Dee Milliner, AJ McCarron, Andre Smith, Barrett Jones, Marcell Dareus, Mark Ingram, C.J. Mosley, Rolando McClain, Terrence Cody, Trent Richardson, Dont'a Hightower, Mark Barron and Javier Arenas.

Who is the Greatest of the Greatest? Who is the Champion among Champions? There can be only one. We have seeded our 16-player field into a single elimination bracket, and it's up to you, the commentariat, to decide who advances to the next round. So cast your vote, then get down in the comments and explain why you are right, and those who voted for the other guy are clearly misinformed.

Bracket_medium

This week, all stats come from wwww.sports-reference.com. All Alabama Records come from the 2012 Alabama Football Record Book. (I understand that some of these records will have changed after the 2012 season.)

[Author's Note: I understand that it can be as difficult to compare across positions as it is to compare across generations - if not more so. Please bear in mind that some positions, particularly offensive linemen, simply aren't going to generate measurable statistics - not positive ones, at any rate.]

Round 1, Match 1

Julio Jones, WR

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- Kevin C. Cox

Stats

179 receptions for 2,653 yards (14.8 yards per reception), 15 touchdowns
10 carries for 139 yards (13.9 yards per carry), 2 touchdowns
12 punt returns for 130 yards (10.8 yards per return)
7 kickoff returns for 162 yards (23.1 yards per return)
3 tackles (3 solo), 1 forced fumble
http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/julio-jones-1.html

Alabama Records

#2 (3-way tie) for receptions in a game (12, vs. Tennessee, 2010) [Interesting Fact: Alabama's top 4 receiving performances in terms of receptions per game have all come against Tennessee: 13, D.J. Hall, 2007; 12, David Bailey, 1969; 12, David Bailey, 1970; and 12, Julio Jones, 2010]

#9 (2 entries of a 6-way tie) for receptions in a game (10, vs. LSU in 2010, and vs. the Auburnite in 2010)

#1 for receptions in a season (78, 2010)

#6 for receptions in a season (58, 2008 - will be a tie in the next book)

#2 for receptions in a career (179)

#1 for receiving yards in a game (221, vs. Tennessee, 2010)

#3 for receiving yards in a game (199, vs. the Auburnite, 2010)

#1 for receiving yards in a season (1,133; 2010)

#5 for receiving yards in a season (924; 2008 - will be #6 in the next book)

#2 for receiving yards in a career (2,653)

#8 for yards per catch in a game (minimum 4 catches) (25.5, vs. LSU, 2009)

#9 for yards per catch in a game (minimum 4 catches) (24.8, vs. Florida, 2008)

#4 for yards per catch in a game (minimum 8 catches) (19.9, vs. the Auburnite, 2010)

#6 for yards per catch in a game (minimum 8 catches) (18.4, vs. Tennessee, 2010)

#3 for yards per catch in a season (minimum 50 catches) (15.9, 2008 - will be #4 in the next book)

#4 for yards per catch in a career (minimum 100 catches) (14.8)

#4 (4-way tie) for touchdown receptions in a season (7, 2010 - will be #5 in the next book)

#4 (tie) for touchdown receptions in a career (15)

#2 for 100-yard receiving games (8)

Awards

2008 AP SEC Freshman of the Year
2008 AP All-SEC (Second Team)
2008 SEC Coaches' All-Freshman Team
2010 AP All-American (Second Team)
2010 AP All-SEC (First Team)
2010 Coaches' All-SEC (First Team)
#6 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julio_Jones#Awards_and_honors

vs.

Courtney Upshaw, LB

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- Al Messerschmidt

Stats

141 tackles (88 solo), 36.5 tackles for a loss, 17.5 sacks
1 interception, returned 45 yards for a touchdown
5 passes defended
1 fumble recovered, returned 45 yards for a touchdown
6 fumbles forced
http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/courtney-upshaw-1.html

Alabama Records

#2 (13-way tie) for fumbles forced in a season (4, 2010)

Awards

2011 FWAA All-American (First Team)
2011 Sporting News All-American (First Team)
2011 AP All-American (Second Team)
2012 BCS National Championship Game Defensive MVP
#35 overall pick in 2012 NFL Draft
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtney_Upshaw

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