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Mac Jones, History and Alabama

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Using the modern passer rating metric, Jones is currently having the most efficient season in the history of the game.

LSU legend Joe Burrow set a new single season passer rating mark for college football a year ago with a stunning 201.96. Entering the College Football Playoff, Alabama's Mac Jones is currently at 202.34. His pursuit of perfection, with less yards and fewer touchdowns, has been a relatively quiet one, proficiency leading his production. Jones is undoubtedly having a season for the record books, just one that may not be fully appreciated until history has time to offer some perspective.

On his own team full of all-time talent, Jones isn't even the biggest name or brightest star. Receiver DeVonta Smith may actually be the Heisman Trophy frontrunner and for good reason. Running back Najee Harris leads the nation in touchdowns scored. The recently-released AP All-American teams had an unprecedented five Crimson Tide players on the first-team offense alone; Jones was one of them. He is one of three top five Heisman Trophy finishers on his own offense.

Fair or unfair, Jones, even in a position highlighted by individual statistics, is often viewed as part of the collective.

Thing is, this group is undefeated, ranked number one in the country and is considered by many to be the favorite to win yet another national championship ahead of an upcoming semifinal pairing with Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl. Alabama has scored the most touchdowns in college football with 73, leads the nation with a 59.2% third down conversion rate, averages the second-most yards per play in the game at 7.83 and paces the Power Five with 49.7 points per game.

For Jones to be viewed alongside the likes of Harris and Smith is a compliment and continuation.

One of a number of potentially-generational players in a year that has been a true quarterback showcase, Jones has still stood out statistically. Both this season and, in some ways, over the span of all of them ever played. He currently leads college football in passer rating (202.34), completion percentage (76.5), yards per attempt (11.4) and completions of 60 yards or more (7) and is second in passing yards (3,739) and completions of 10 and 20 yards or more (149, 58) and is tied for third in passing touchdowns (32).

It's worth repeating: using the modern passer rating metric, Jones is having the most efficient season in the history of the game.

The College Football Playoff is a fitting stage for more. Jones has often been at his best under the bright lights. He threw four touchdown passes in his Iron Bowl debut, only to throw five more for an encore. Jones went for 327 yards and three touchdowns in his first bowl game, leading Alabama to a win over Michigan. This season, he threw for 435 yards and four touchdowns against Texas A&M, 417 yards and four more scores versus Georgia and 418 yards and five touchdowns in an SEC Championship Game win over Florida.

In three matchups with top ten teams this fall, Jones has a 216.26 passer rating, is averaging 423.3 yards per game and has 13 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions.

Jones is having a season for the ages. So is his offense. So is his team. While the future can rank and file greatness, Jones and Alabama and currently top all the polls.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports