Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron has been a terrific player for the Crimson Tide. He will go down as one of the most decorated quarterbacks ever to play in college football. McCarron is also a lock to be selected to the College Football Hall of Fame. None of that changes the fact that McCarron’s inclusion as a finalist to win the Davey O’Brien Award is a complete and utter sham; an embarrassment to the idea that the award is supposed to be honoring the nation’s best quarterback. McCarron is a fine quarterback but he has never put up numbers. He leads the Crimson Tide to victories. That is great and the goal of the game, but there are a number of more deserving quarterbacks who are also leading undefeated teams.
A.J. McCarron’s numbers are incredibly average. He has thrown for just 2,399 yards, 23 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He had a remarkable game against Texas A&M where he threw for 334 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Tide were able to beat the Aggies 49-42. Unfortunately, McCarron was mediocre against teams like Virginia Tech, throwing for just 110 yards, a touchdown and interception while not completing half of his passes. He looked unimpressive against Mississippi State where he threw two interceptions and just 187 yards.
The fact that McCarron was nominated leaves some incredibly talented and deserving candidates off of the list and out of contention. Here are a few of them:
Derek Carr, Fresno State - 3,948 yards passing, 39 touchdowns, 4 interceptions. He also rushed for 104 yards and 2 more touchdowns. The Bulldogs are undefeated and have only played 10 games due to the fact the game against Colorado was postponed due to flooding.
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois - 2,418 yards passing, 21 touchdowns, 5 interceptions. Lynch rushed for 1,434 yards and 17 touchdowns as well. The Huskies are undefeated and Lynch has more passing yards than McCarron while also having an incredible season rushing.
Marcus Mariota, Oregon - 3,127 yards passing, 27 touchdowns, 2 interceptions. Mariota has rushed for 529 yards and 7 more touchdowns. Oregon has lost two games this season and could be headed to the Alamo Bowl but Mariota’s season has been outstanding.
Those are just three of the quarterbacks that have outstanding qualifications for the award as well as simply dwarf the statistics and impact McCarron has had this season. None of that changes the importance McCarron has had on the Crimson Tide this season and they are undefeated with a chance to go to a third national championship, but his poise and leadership do not make him the best quarterback in the nation this season; not even close. Making him a finalist for the award puts him in the awkward position of being scrutinized for production that simply is not there, which is not fair to him. Here are three quarterbacks that are not even being considered while having incredible seasons that should be recognized. It is a shame.