Midseason Grade: A/A-
Final Grade: A-
Mac Jones, A+
I mean, really:
Jones’ storybook season concluded with a fitting ending as he completed 36 of 45 passes for 464 yards and five touchdowns during Alabama’s 52-24 victory over Ohio State in Monday’s national championship game. In doing so, he set national championship game records in passing yards and competitions.
Through 13 games, the Heisman Trophy finalist set the school’s single-season passing record with 4,500 yards through the air. His 41 passing touchdowns were just two away from tying Tagovailoa’s single-season mark set over 15 games in 2018.
Jones also took down a pair of national records as well. His 77.4 percent completion rate tops the previous NCCA single-season best of 76.7 percent set by Texas’ Colt McCoy in 2008. Meanwhile, Jones’ 203.06 passer efficiency rating passed the NCAA single-season record of 201.96 set by LSU’s Joe Burrow last year.
Jones had the most efficient, most accurate season by a quarterback in the 115-year history of the forward pass. For his work, he took home more awards than can fit in the back of an El Camino: he was a consensus All-American, a first-team All-SEC, the 3rd-place finalist for the Heisman Trophy, was the first Alabama quarterback to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a single year. He won the Manning Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, and the Davey O’Brien Award.
If that’s not enough, making it all the more impressive, Jones did this against an all-Power 5 schedule. No scrubs — the offense he led just made the rest of the SEC look like a bad MAC team. And that is why (rightly, I think) he can lay claim to being the best trigger-man on the best team in college football history.
Jones got my Heisman vote.And I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. Go and have a great life, kid.
Bryce Young: Incomplete...and not at all his fault.
What we said at the halfway point:
This would be an A+, but we simply don’t get to see what Bryce Young can do. As long as he is being trotted out with the second team versus opponents’ starters, his development is being stunted. And in his limited appearances he has consequently struggled. That is the only demerit here. As for Mac Jones...well, we’ll have much more to say on him later.
You can essentially copy and paste that and have it largely apply to the end-of-year grade...except that it was even worse. Bryce entered the second-half of the season having completed just eight passes on 15 attempts. After the bye, he was given even fewer snaps and with fewer opportunities to throw.
And, frankly, some of them made no sense: Against LSU, Auburn, Arkansas, and Kentucky, Young got seven total attempts despite those four contests being decided 202-36, and not one of them closer than four touchdowns. In fact, two were decided by 7+ scores.
For the season, Young was sacked six times, went 13 of 22 (59.1%) with 1 score and no interceptions. That was a lost opportunity to develop Young and play for the future; one that I suspect Alabama will regret this season, and the unit grade must take a deserved knock for it accordingly.
Grade the Alabama Quarterback Unit for 2020
This poll is closed
B+, but I have very compelling reasons for this grade and they are listed below.
Lower, because I’m a salty Joe Burrow stan