One of the biggest storylines of the college football offseason is who will be the starting quarterback for Alabama in 2023.
The Crimson Tide have three competitors in Ty Simpson, Tyler Buchner and Jalen Milroe who are battling for the job.
Simpson is entering his redshirt freshman season at Alabama, while Buchner transferred in from Notre Dame. He will be a redshirt sophomore in 2023. Milroe is also a redshirt sophomore and is back after appearing in eight games for the Crimson Tide in 2022.
The quarterback battle appears to be fairly even heading into preseason camp. With that said, BetOnline.ag recently released its odds for who will be the starting quarterback for Alabama in Week 1 when the Crimson Tide hosts Middle Tennessee.
BetOnline.ag has Ty Simpson as the slight favorite to be the starter for Week 1 at +105 odds. Tyler Buchner is not far behind at +140. Then there’s a significant gap before Jalen Milroe, who comes in at +300.
Simpson appeared in four games last season, completing 4 of his 5 attempts for 80 yards. The Tennessee native signed with Alabama as a five-star recruit and the No. 2 quarterback in the country for the class of 2022, according to the On3 Industry Rankings.
Buchner was named the starting quarterback for Notre Dame for 2022. However, he suffered a serious injury early in the season and missed most of the year. He did return for the bowl game against South Carolina and helped the Fighting Irish to a win in the Gator Bowl.
Buchner passed for 273 yards and accounted for five touchdowns against the Gamecocks. He also threw three picks in that game. He will be coached by his former Notre Dame offensive coordinator in Tommy Rees at Alabama after Rees left for the Crimson Tide OC job this offseason.
Milroe was the backup quarterback for Alabama behind eventual No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young last season. He rushed for 263 yards and a touchdown over eight games, while also passing for 297 yards and five scores. Milroe is more dangerous as a runner than a passer as he completed only 58.5 percent of his passes last year and tossed three interceptions.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban spoke about the Crimson Tide’s quarterback battle last week at SEC Media Days.
“We need all of our quarterbacks to develop for our team. I don’t think anyone has separated themselves to this point, even though I’ve seen improvement in each and every guy in terms of what they’re doing and how they’re developing,” Saban said. “But we need that on our team. We don’t just need a starter, we need a backup, we need good players [throughout the depth chart] at that position.
“Just like Jalen Milroe had the opportunity to play last year, he was ready in the Arkansas game and then the Texas A&M game. So, when someone separates themselves, and nobody knows for sure when that is — I can’t establish a timetable … it’s going to happen when it happens.”