Alabama starting quarterback for season opener revealed

Nick Saban has insisted the Alabama quarterback battle will continue through the start of the season, but the guy with the first crack at the job is now clear.
Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe
Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe / Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

When the Alabama quarterback competition began this offseason, Jalen Milroe was the favorite to win the job.

He hasn't officially won it yet, because Nick Saban warned that the battle will continue even through the first game, but he's one step closer to being the undisputed leader of the Crimson Tide.

On Friday, Chris Low of ESPN reported that Milroe will start the season opener against Middle Tennessee. He beat out Tyler Buchner, Dylan Lonergan and Ty Simpson for that distinction.

Nick Saban taps Jalen Milroe as Alabama starting quarterback in Week 1

Being the starter in Week 1 means Milroe will get the first opportunity to convince his head coach that he's the guy to succeed Bryce Young. However, Crimson Tide fans shouldn't be surprised if they also see Buchner or Simpson play in Week 1.

Saban hasn't been afraid to replace a starter in the middle of first game. That's how Jalen Hurts got the job in 2016.

For all intents and purposes, the opener is a chance for Saban and new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees to look at what they have at quarterback in live action. The Crimson Tide are favored by almost 40 points. It may as well be a preseason game.

It'll be much more telling to see who is starting in Week 2 when Alabama welcomes Texas to Tuscaloosa.

For now, it's clear that Milroe is closest to becoming the full-time starter, even if Saban won't make it official with a depth chart. He was Young's backup in 2022 and looked solid when he had to fill in. He took the majority of first-team reps this offseason. The job is his to lose.

However, Buchner had starting experience with Rees as his coordinator at Notre Dame. And Simpson is a talented wild card. So the competition is still worth keeping an eye on until Saban says it's settled.

dark. Next. CFB rankings re-rank CFP projections. Top 25 CFB teams re-ranked by 2023 playoff projections