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AJ McCarron Will Have a Big Chip on his Shoulder This Fall

McCarron may think, “Hey Les, you didn’t think I was first string? Watch this!” But he’s too classy to say so.

AJ McCarron Will Have a Big Chip on his Shoulder This Fall

By Larry Burton


Walk softly and carry a big chip? Well there’s a play on an old phrase that may aptly describe the feeling that AJ McCarron may feel after the release of the All SEC Team came out.

Third string All SEC? Behind who? Aaron Murray and Johnny Manziel? How many championships have they won? How many game winning drives did they construct in an SEC Championship Game or nation title game? How many times have they been the MVP in a national title game or SEC Championship Game?

And the big question is, just how many coaches across the nation would choose Murray or Manziel over McCarron if they had to pick a quarterback to play in a national title game?

Not very many if any at all.

Is McCarron the Rodney Dangerfield of college football? What’s a guy got to do to get a little respect around here? Win every national championship since he’s been a starter? Been there done that.

Be the nation’s most accurate passer and lead the nation is efficiency? Been there done that.

Keep your nose clean and tote your coach’s and the team’s mantra in public at every appearance? Been there, done that.

Lead the nation in fewest turnovers and highest percentage of touchdowns to interceptions? Been there , done that.

Win every close must win with a drive that shows that when it’s all the line, you don’t make mistakes? Been there done that. Murray sure blew his chance with a tipped ball and poor decision and Manziel only won one big game that really didn’t get the team to any championship and blew several others that could have gotten them to one.

And all the while, while AJ and the rest of the Alabama nation are grinding their teeth and looking toward the heavens seeking some divine intervention on the minds of the confused voters, Nick Saban is smiling that smirking smile he is so famous for.

For while others are screaming injustice, Saban knows that it’s good to have something to prove and that the boys in Crimson, but more importantly the one wearing the number ten jersey, will all be playing to prove those voters wrong and to Saban, that’s just what he needs.

His team is already a runaway favorite to repeat not only the SEC Championship, but the national championship as well. If everyone had picked an Alabama player as a first string SEC player, there would be no chips on anyone’s shoulder. As it is, there’s a lot of very big chips out there on a lot of Crimson shoulders.

AJ McCarron is just the poster boy for them all.

So when the season starts, Saban will be smiling because he knows they’ll be some fires burning the chests of many of his best men. They will have something to prove. And to coaches like Saban, that’s reason enough to thank God for those big chips on their shoulders.

Larry is an award winning writer whose work has appeared in almost every college football venue. Now he primarily writes for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow Larry on Twitter at

Larry Burton is a member of the Football Writers of America Association (FWAA) and was the most read SEC and Alabama football writer during his time at Bleacher Report. He has been credentialed by all the major bowls and the University of Alabama. Larry provides some of the best insight in the business through his "Larry's Lowdown" segment with TDA.

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