Nick Saban dodging Alabama’s QB question is terrifying for Crimson Tide

Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images)
Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images) /

Nick Saban not having a good feel about the quarterback situation this late into the offseason is less than ideal for the Alabama Crimson Tide’s chances of winning another national title.

Eventually, Nick Saban will have to choose who will be the next Alabama starting quarterback.

During SEC Media Days in Nashville, Saban opted to remain non-committal over the entire situation. Replacing 2021 Heisman Trophy winner and the No. 1 overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in last spring’s NFL Draft in Bryce Young was never going to be easy, but the fact nobody has separated themselves between Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson and Tyler Buchner is a major issue.

Here is what Saban said to Kennington Smith III of The Athletic about this quarterback situation.

"“All of those players are getting better. It’s important for us that all those players get better. I don’t think anybody has actually separated themselves yet to this point, and I don’t think it’s something that we are trying to rush. I think we have to sort of let this develop and make sure we let the cake bake until somebody separates themselves.”"

Saban did bring up a good point about having a great backup, but who is going to be the starter???

"“Everybody wants to know who the starter is. What about the backup guy who has to go in and play like Jalen Milroe did last year against Texas A&M and how he finished the Arkansas game? It’s important that all these guys continue to develop, and everybody at that position develops into where they can play winning football.”"

Factor in that Alabama has two promising true freshman quarterbacks on scholarship as well in Eli Holstein and Dylan Lonergan, and this thing could be even more far from over than we realize. Given that Tommy Rees is taking over the offense for Bill O’Brien, everyone seems to be on equal footing to some extent, although Buchner did just play quarterback for Rees over at Notre Dame.

Other teams of note may be unsettled at the position, even national title contenders like Georgia Ohio State. However, breaking in a new offensive coordinator in the deep SEC West is a problem.

So how dire of a situation is this for Alabama right now? Let’s discuss…

Nick Saban mum on Alabama quarterback situation during SEC Media Days

Look. Even if Kirby Smart is not ready to name a starting quarterback at Georgia between Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton, so what? The Dawgs are the two-time defending national champions and will get the benefit of the doubt in doing so. They play an incredibly soft schedule this year in the easier SEC East. Plus, they were able to promote Mike Bobo from within.

If you look at Ohio State, Ryan Day may not be ready to say who it will be between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown. While he too lost his trusted offensive coordinator to a bigger job elsewhere in Kevin Wilson, the Buckeyes have been a playoff team the last two years. Day is also an offensive-minded head coach, so he will be able to put Brian Hartline in advantageous situations to succeed.

So basically a 70-something Saban is putting all of his eggs in the 30-something Rees basket. Yes, that could work out, and work out wonderfully. However, there are more answers than questions with SEC rivals on the offensive side of the ball at places like LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee. The fact is it is not Milroe or Simpson yet is scary, as Buchner is still very much in this.

Truth be told, what do you do? Do you go with the most dynamic one in Milroe? How about the most talented with the highest ceiling in Simpson? Or do you roll with the guy Rees essentially brought with him down from South Bend in Buchner? Heck, what if Holstein or Lonergan show sparks of something special in fall camp? This is pure anxiety and could hold this team back a bit.

Overall, Alabama does have time to figure this out. Not much, but it does. Unfortunately, the Tide haven’t won a national title since COVID, Georgia is on fire, LSU is right there and other quality teams in the SEC like Ole Miss and Tennessee aren’t going away. By now, it should be Milroe, and maybe it still will be? For now, we’re just not going to know with Alabama, and that is frightening.

I’d love to be proven wrong, but if you have five quarterbacks, it means that you don’t have one.

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