Alabama Football: On Playoffs, no truer words have been spoken

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

Mixed in with the strong opinions about Alabama Football and Florida State during ESPN’s Sunday Playoff reveal was an insightful comment from Joey Galloway. Not only did Galloway provide the most precise and eloquent explanation of the Selection Committee getting the final four right; he added some truth Alabama football fans love.

Talking about Alabama vs. Michigan in the Rose Bowl, Galloway said,

"I love this matchup because there’s nothing like a Jalen Milroe in the Big Ten"

No there is not. And no Big Ten quarterback comes close to matching Milroe’s dual-threat ability.

The Michigan Wolverines get rave reviews for their outstanding defense. Based on NCAA Stats, in Total Defense, Passing Defense, and Scoring Defense, Michigan is either No. 1 or No. 2 in the FBS. Michigan’s lowest team defense ranking is No. 5 in Passing Yards Allowed.

The stats are impressive and explain why only two of Michigan’s opponents have scored more than 15 points against the Wolverines.

At the same time, Michigan’s strong defensive record requires an asterisk. The Wolverines have not played a schedule that is as close to difficult as the other three Playoff teams. According to Jeff Sagarin’s calculation, Michigan’s SOS is No. 56, compared to No. 4 for Texas, No. 5 for Washington, and No. 12 for Alabama.

Alabama Football – Jalen Milroe and Joey Galloway

To test Galloway’s contention that Jalen Milroe presents a major threat to the Michigan defense, let’s look at the Passer Ratings for the 13 quarterbacks Michigan faced this season. They are listed below in descending order starting with the highest rating.

  • Kyle McCord – Ohio State – Passer Rating 161.6; No. 14 among the top 100 QBs compiled by
  • Taulia Tagovailoa – Maryland – Passer Rating 145.1; No. 45
  • Drew Allar – Penn State; Passer Rating 138.3; No. 58
  • Brendan Sorsby – Indiana – Passer Rating 129.9; No. 75
  • Connor Bazelak – Bowling Green – Passer Rating 129.7; No. 76
  • Hudson Card – Purdue – Passer Rating 123; No. 89
  • Athan Kaliakmanis – Minnesota – Passer Rating 115.2; No. 100

The other six opposing quarterbacks were not ranked in the top 100. Their Passer Rating is provided by Sports Reference

  • Katin Hauser – Michigan State – Passer Rating 113.5
  • Heinrich Haarburg – Nebraska – Passer Rating 106.6
  • Gavin Wimstatt – Rurgers – Passer Rating 103.4
  • Alex Finn – East Carolina – Passer Rating 98.5
  • Doug Brumfield – UNLV – Passer Rating 96.8
  • Deacon Hill – Iowa – Passer Rating 90.8

What Joey Galloway knows is shared by Alabama football fans. Jalen Milroe’s Passer Rating is No. 4 among all FBS quarterbacks at 177.48. That level of performance for Milroe is better than anything Michigan has seen this season. And it gets worse for the Wolverines in that the stat does not include Milroe’s running ability.

Early point spread for Rose Bowl and National Championship. dark. Next

Michigan is one of college football’s best defensive teams, but the Wolverines will need their best defensive performance of the season to slow Jalen Milroe.