Ranking The 23 Quarterbacks To Beat Nick Saban At Alabama

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking The 23 Quarterbacks To Beat Nick Saban At Alabama


Ranking The 23 Quarterbacks To Beat Nick Saban At Alabama


Just how good were the quarterbacks who beat Nick Saban during his time at Alabama? Rich Cirminiello ranks the 23 who were able to do it.

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Ranking the QBs Who’ve Beaten Nick Saban at Alabama

This Friday at Jerry’s World, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder hopes to join an elite fraternity – quarterbacks who have defeated Nick Saban at Alabama over the past 15 seasons.

There are just 23 in the group, 24 if you count Jarrett Lee’s contributions to LSU victories in 2010 and 2011.

Some went on to long NFL careers, some faded into obscurity and, despite what you’ve heard, not all were dynamic dual-threats.

From worst to first, here’s a ranking of the 23 Saban slayers, based on their college AND pro careers.

23. Xavier Lee, Florida State (2007)

Lee never panned out after being one of the most decorated recruits of 2004. Replacing a benched Drew Weatherford and beating Alabama was the highlight of a Seminole career marked by unmet expectations and just a handful of forgettable starts.

22. Wesley Carroll, Mississippi State (2007)

Forced into action as a true freshman, Carroll faced the usual ups-and-downs of a rookie. He broke his thumb in the Alabama upset, a win led by the D. Carroll didn’t fit into Dan Mullen’s plans in Starkville and wound up finishing his career with Florida International.

21. Zach Calzada, Texas A&M (2021)

Perhaps the most unlikely quarterback to defeat Saban at Alabama over the last 15 seasons. A backup when 2021 began, he was pressed into duty after Haynes King was injured. And Calzada was playing poorly leading up to the Oct. 9 visit from Alabama. Yet, he rallied the Aggies in gutsy fashion to hand the Tide its only loss of the year. Calzada is now in the transfer portal, taking a 7-4 record to a new school.

20. Kinsmon Lancaster, ULM (2007)

It’s hard to imagine today, but there was a time when a Sun Belt team could just up and beat Saban in Tuscaloosa. That was a very long time ago. Lancaster started three seasons with the Warhawks, accounting for a career-high 22 TDs as a senior in 2008.

19. Stephen Garcia, South Carolina (2010)

Garcia’s tumultuous Gamecock career hit its apex in the 2010 upset of top-ranked Alabama. When he flashed he could be brilliant, but too often he was inconsistent and a distraction. Garcia’s resume included 47 TD passes and 41 picks, and he was eventually booted from the team in 2011.

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18. Brandon Cox, Auburn (2007)

One of just two Tiger quarterbacks to ever go 3-0 versus Alabama, Cox is an Iron Bowl legend. More game manager than game changer during his time on the Plains, he went 29-9 as a three-year starter, throwing for 42 TDs, 6,959 yards and 32 interceptions.

17. Bo Wallace, Ole Miss (2014)

In one of the most memorable Rebel wins this century, Wallace led the 2014 upset of Alabama with two TD passes in the final 5:29 of regulation. It was the highlight of a winding college career marked by improvement and excitement under Hugh Freeze, but also 41 interceptions over the course of three seasons.

16. Cardale Jones, Ohio State {2014)

Jones left behind one of the strangest legacies in Big Ten history. He never lost a game as the Ohio State starter, replacing an injured J.T. Barrett and beating Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon to help win the 2014 national championship. But he failed to build on his auspicious debut in 2015 and completed just six passes in one NFL season.

NEXT: Top 15 Quarterbacks To Beat Nick Saban

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