TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The tricky part about trying to name the best players in University of Alabama football history is determining what standard to use.
You’re talking about a program that dates back to 1892 and boasts of having 119 players who were named first-team All-American 153 times, and 239 players who landed all-conference honors 319 times.
Alabama has won so many trophies that a couple of years ago the Bryant Museum ran a humorous ad campaign about what the Crimson Tide use some of them for (paper weights, back scratcher, door jam, etc.).
But just how do you define “best”?
Do you base it on statistics? Would a player have had to been named an All-American or to a Hall of Fame to be considered? How do you compare players from different eras?
Would being the biggest icon count? If so, quarterback Joe Namath would have to be included, and probably Kenny Stabler as well, even though neither is in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Most awards? There would have to be a place for offensive lineman Barrett Jones.
Continual success? Quarterback AJ McCarron and linebacker Woodrow Lowe would be right there.
Consequently, if 100 different people did this list, there would be 100 different results. I encourage you to do your own and compare.
For this article, the standard is simple. It’s the equivalent of being on a playground picking teams. These are the ones I’d want—the players who have to be considered among the best to ever play for the Crimson Tide.