After (in my opinion) a slight upset in our last poll, we begin the final round of pairings in our tournament to declare the greatest Alabama Crimson Tide football player of all time. Today’s matchup pits two fan favorites against each other, with a berth in the division finals on the line.
Bryant Division – Quarterbacks vs. Special Teams
Van Tiffin (1983-1986)
Career Stats: 135-135 PAT, 59-88 FG, 312 Points, Long of 57
Van Tiffin is one of the most recognizable names in Alabama football. Everyone knows “The Kick,” Tiffin’s 52-yard field goal as time expired to beat Auburn in 1985 is one of the greatest plays in the history of the Tide. There’s a lot more to his career than that. He is on the top of the NCAA record books in point-after-touchdown percentage with a perfect 100 percent of his 135 extra points made. He was named a first team All-American in 1986 and an All-SEC selection 1983, 1985 and 1986.
In Alabama’s record books, Tiffin is second in most PATs made, fourth in field goals made and fourth in career points. His 57-yard field goal against Texas A&M in 1985 was and still is the longest field goal made by a Crimson Tide kicker. If all of that isn’t enough, Van had a son who came 25 years after him and topped all his records and helped bring Alabama back to the top of the college football world.
Jay Barker (1991-1994)
Quarterback – Birmingham, AL
6’3″, 205 lb
Career Statistics: 5,689 Passing Yards, 28 Total TDs, 130.0 QB rating
Jay Barker’s four-year career at Alabama can be summarized in three words: he’s a winner. Barker finished his career at Alabama with a 34-2-1 record as a starter and became the most winning quarterback in Alabama history. Barker added an SEC championship and a national championship to his resume in 1992. He finished the year with a 54 percent completion rate while only throwing seven touchdowns compared to his nine interceptions. However, Barker did enough to bring Alabama their first national championship since 1979 and only got better as his career continued.
In 1994, he had the best season of his career, finishing with All-American honors, while being named a unanimous All-SEC selection. Barker was one of the three finalists for the Davey O’Brien award and finished fifth in Heisman voting in his senior season. He finished the season with a 62 percent completion rate with 14 touchdowns and a 151.7 QB rating.
Which player advances to the next round?
- Jay Barker (54%, 33 Votes)
- Van Tiffin (46%, 28 Votes)
Total Voters: 61