Nick Saban has helped to lead the Alabama Crimson Tide to national titles with two first-year starters at the quarterback position. This year, now that AJ McCarron has left for the NFL, the team will be rolling with another first-year starter.
While Saban could exude confidence in his first-year starter, he has chosen to take a different approach.
Saban is downplaying the Crimson Tide’s chances at winning a title this season, with either Blake Sims or Florida State Seminoles transfer Jakob Coker leading the offense.
From an interview with ESPN.com:
“Well I think it is a little bit unrealistic because basically what you’re talking about is two guys [who] are untested. And when you have an untested player at that position, you can be pleasantly surprised with the way they develop and how they do and how the team sorta rallies around them and the impact of their leadership, decision-making, those things are critical at the quarterback position. …
“They can also go to where they turn the ball over and do some things that make it hard to overcome. Because quarterback is such a critical position to me. Football is a great team game, but then there’s the quarterback. And most successful teams have a guy that, at least in their system, is functionally successful for the other players on the team. And in our case, because we have good skill guys, it’s important that our guy can distribute the ball to those guys and make those guys effective players for us.”
It will be interesting to see how the quarterback competition plays out.
Regardless of who wins the competition, they will face the task of leading a storied franchise in the best conference in college football. They will also need to find a way to please a very rabid fan base.
Saban is doing his best to keep the Crimson Tide faithful in check, but we will have to see what kind of pressure the fan base brings when they are raining down their chants of “Roll Damn Tide.”