Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/4/13
AJ McCarron (Photo by: Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) Ever since Alabama’s star running back, Mark Ingram, won the Crimson Tide’s first ever Heisman trophy in 2009, the Tide has been on the quest for its second Heisman. This year it might be someone on offense other than the running backs who will be getting some valuable attention: A.J. McCarron. As the Tide’s starting quarterback since 2010, McCarron has led his team to back-to-back National Championships, something no other quarterback has ever done in the BCS era. Alabama has become one of the most dominant running team in the country. In 2012, the Tide rushed as a team for over 3000+ yards, something that only a handful of teams have been able to do. Although Oregon, Wisconsin, and Georgia Tech are a few of the teams that had more rushing yards than the Tide in 2012, what sets Alabama apart is the caliber of defense in the SEC. In the SEC, defense is what decides the games; the other team can’t win if the defense never lets them score. Alabama, who led the nation in the 2012 season with the least amount of yards per game (252.9), played SEC teams that were allowing less than 350 yards per game. Alabama was able to win against great defenses because Bama focused on the running game, one reason why the Heisman spotlight has not been on McCarron much in the past three years. In other conferences such as the Big 12 and PAC 12, their quarterbacks are the key to their spread and pass offense which gives them the opportunity to amass huge impressive statistics, and numerous times their quarterbacks are in the Heisman spotlight. For example, in 2012, Matt Barkley, USC’s quarterback, passed for over 3000+ yards while his team only rushed for 1500+ yards. A.J. McCarron has become one of the Tide’s best quarterbacks. McCarron, who had the best quarterback rating in the country with a 175.3, put his team rather than himself in the spotlight. Although McCarron completed 211/314 attempts for 2933 yards, the Tide’s running game was what made the headlines and newsreels. As the 2013 football season approaches, what will AJ McCarron have to do to get in the Heisman spotlight? The answer? Simply continue to execute consistently like last year. A.J. McCarron has been the glue for the offense the past two seasons. In the National Championship games in 2011 and 2012, McCarron looked calm, collected, and like a champion (pun intended). He made heroic plays when needed and helped his team in both the rushing and passing game. Also, McCarron is a very mature quarterback. As the nation saw in Death Valley last November, McCarron’s ability to stay calm and collected helped the Tide bring life into Death Valley by completing 4/5 passes, including a screen pass to TJ Yeldon with a minute left in the game, to win 21-17. If McCarron plays as expected, he could not only be a Heisman candidate but could lead his team to three straight National Championships, a feat never accomplished before. AJ McCarron’s choice to stay for his senior season was the right decision. It is hoped that his decision will have a better outcome than his counterpart, Matt Barkley, whose team had a dismal season despite Barkley’s decision to return for his senior year. But Barkley and USC didn’t have two National Championships under their belt; A.J. and the Tide are hungry for a third and that will make all the difference. A.J. McCarron, in my opinion, made a great decision by staying. He has another year to improve in areas he wants to focus on, to have a shot at winning a Heisman, and to make history as the only college quarterback to lead his team to three straight National Championships. Alabama is known for several things: great coaches, dominant defenses, legendary quarterbacks, and 15 National Championships. This year, A. J. McCarron could join the ranks of legends Joe Namath, Bart Starr, and Kenny Stabler by being the quarterback who brought the three-peat dynasty, as well as another Heisman trophy back to Alabama.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne


USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker