If not for the narrowest win in Heisman history in 2009, the Crimson Tide would still be seeking that elusive first trophy. It’s a curiosity that a team so rich in tradition has just one Heisman.
But could junior quarterback AJ McCarron be on the verge of making his own run at the trophy? After all, he is the efficient field general for the nation’s No. 1 team. He was the MVP of the BCS title game earlier this year and he’s been near-perfect so far this season, with 418 yards, six touchdown passes and no interceptions.
To do so, he’ll have to buck history. I don’t mean Heisman history.
More like Crimson Tide history.
For all the brilliant quarterbacks who have come through the school, not one of them has thrown for over 3,000 yards in a season. For all the national championship quarterbacks, not one has surpassed 20 touchdown tosses in a season.
You can’t win the Heisman in this day and age throwing for 2,987 yards and 20 touchdowns, as Greg McElroy did in 2010 for the Tide, no matter how many games your team wins. Twenty-five years ago, perhaps, but not today.
So this is McCarron’s challenge. He’s on pace for 2,834 passing yards and 39 touchdowns this year. Can he keep the touchdown pace going and increase his yardage? Can he convincingly shatter Bama’s all-time single-season passing marks? If he does that–and nothing less–then he’ll have a chance to be in the Heisman conversation at the season’s end.
I just don’t think he can win. Not with quarterbacks like Matt Barkley and Geno Smith in the race. It might take a more transcendant talent–and a more pass-happy offensive philosophy–for an Alabama quarterback to finally win a Heisman.