Outstanding

Our old friend David Ching lists the top five SEC quarterbacks in the past decade and Aaron Murray deservedly makes it at number four.  It’s an impressive legacy that he boasts.

Just look at where he ranks in the SEC career record book. First in passing yardage (13,166). First in total offense (13,562). First in passing touchdowns (121). Fifth in passing efficiency (158.61). The Kansas City Chiefs backup twice led the Bulldogs to the SEC championship game and nearly to the BCS championship game at the end of the 2012 season…

So, yeah, in terms of historical significance, Murray clearly fits in with names like Tebow, Newton and Manziel.  There’s just one slight difference.

The only player on the list who didn’t win a Heisman and/or start for a national championship team…

Sigh.  We get that a lot here at Georgia.

76 Comments

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76 responses to “Outstanding

  1. Grathams replacement

    He was a fingertip away from joining the latter group. Wonder how that game would have changed had Murray not redshirted in 09 and the 2013 Murray played all of 2012.

    • Murray didn’t cost us a title shot in 2012. Todd Grantham and Rodney Garner’s defensive line substitution pattern (or lack thereof) did. Murray made one mistake in that SECCG. The defense fell apart the last 2+ quarters.

  2. Sanford222view

    I would put Murray above Johnny Football. Murray did it for four years and Manziel beating Bama gets him way too much credit. Winning the Heisman is getting too much weight in this ranking as well. Manziel played in as many SECCG’s as Jeff Driscoll.

  3. CB

    Murray was a great talent, but he consistently struggled to read coverages. It seemed like he was constantly either throwing pick sixes, or interceptions to defensive linemen, and he was always getting his passes tipped when he stared down receivers (ie Bama 2012). S. Carolina in 2013 was the only significant game in his career where he didn’t have at least one turnover. At least he brought those career records home. In hindsight it looks a lot better than it felt at the time.

    • His efforts against LSU and Tennessee in 2013 felt pretty good at the time to me.

      • RugbyDawg79

        +1

      • CB

        It’s hard to argue with 8 total TD’s in two games, but for me those two performances felt more like glimpses of what most folks thought Murray was going to do throughout his career. Also, the int to yet another d tackle in the LSU game soured me. We overcame a lot of adversity/injury in K’ville, but the fact that Tennessee was unranked doesn’t help.

        • Honestly, you’re nitpicking. Georgia doesn’t win either game w/o Murray’s heroics.

          And don’t get me started on the ’13 Auburn game.

          • The ’13 Auburn game was Aaron Murray’s finest hour regardless of the outcome – DGD

            The people who run down #11 have never been in the arena. I’ve never been in the arena either, but I know a guy who is a true competitor. The only time I ever saw him look defeated was the ’12 game in the Dead Cockroach.

          • CB

            Murray threw a pick in that game too, but at least it wasn’t to a defensive lineman.

            I know it sounds like I’m nitpicking, but let me explain myself. When you’re talking about the other guys on that list there is a really high standard which begs a high level of scrutiny.

            I don’t believe Murray has any single game or even single season performances that put him in the same stratosphere as 1-3. Tebow, Manziel, and Newton all beat Bama and won the heisman. Newton and Manziel pulled off comeback wins in Tuscaloosa with mostly inferior talent around them. All three of them were 1st round picks (obviously with varying levels of success professionally).

            I just don’t see what Murray is bringing to the table that compares. I do think there is a pretty strong argument that talent wise he was comparable if not better than McCarron in college. But, McCarron won two national titles and was a 1st team All-American selection. Could Murray have pulled off the same accomplishments if he played at Bama under Saban? Perhaps. Murray threw nearly double the amount of TD’s as McCarron, but almost triple the amount of interceptions. McCarron to his credit has had marginal success playing for the Bengals, whereas Murray is sitting behind Chase Daniel (take that as you will, I realize it’s not totally relevant to the discussion, but felt it was worth mentioning).

            Both McCarron and Murray are remembered largely for career accomplishments, and they both deserve to be on the list when compared with the players who missed the cut. It seems that there is a pretty wide gap in between #3 and #4. It’s the difference between great and pretty dang good.

            One thing is for sure, both are better than Hutson Mason, and the dumpster fire that followed him in 2015.

            • … whereas Murray is sitting behind Chase Daniel (take that as you will, I realize it’s not totally relevant to the discussion, but felt it was worth mentioning).

              I don’t think CD is with the Chiefs any longer.

              BTW, I’m not arguing that Murray deserves to be ranked any higher on that list. I just think you’re a little too wrapped up in your INT criticism.

              • CB

                You’re right about CD. He’s in Philly, but is still listed on the depth chart on chiefs.com.

                Maybe I am too wrapped up in the int’s, but averaging over ten per season over the course of four years seems like a lot, especially when many of them came in losing efforts when we really couldn’t afford to turn it over.

                • McTyre

                  Your “we couldn’t afford to turn it over” reasoning is actually the factor by which your comparative criticisms of Murray are shortsighted. The guy put the ball at risk at times during his career due in no small part to the frequency by which opponents put big numbers on the board against our D and Special Teams. In 2013 the rash of injuries to the WR and RB corps and Colin Barber’s gag reel placed a ton of pressure on #11 and he managed to still run a competitive offense. In this respect, the team environments in which Murray and Tebow couldn’t have been more different. Newton was essentially a one-year wonder at Auburn whereas Murray was a 4-year starter, so there’s many more reps to critique.

                  • CB

                    Based on their success after college, Tebow and Newton are clearly superior talents. I could throw in Manziel too, but if you question that comparison just look at their RSFr years. Manziel won the heisman, Murray lost games to Colorado and UCF.

                    I’ll say your lack of defense theory has some merit, but I think you’re giving it way too much weight. How do you explain the Florida game in 2012? The defense forced 6 turnovers and Murray threw 3 picks. We win in spite of him.

                    Not to mention the fact that the east was terrible when Murray was in college. What competition was there? Florida had no offense, all we really had to do was beat SCar, which we only did once with Murray.

            • DawgPhan

              You should go back and look at the talent on that TAMU team.

              I believe that there were 3 1st round lineman on that OL, Mike Evans was the guy wide open bailing out JFF as he ran around for days. Also had 2nd round RB.

              3 1st round OL guys playing at the same time, has UGA ever had that?

              • CB

                This is just a guess, but I’m pretty confident that if you take into account the offense, defense, and spec teams Bama was easily more efficient, talented, and well coached than A&M that season.

                • DawgPhan

                  was referring to this quote
                  “Newton and Manziel pulled off comeback wins in Tuscaloosa with mostly inferior talent around them.”

                  Manziel certainly did not have inferior talent around him.

                  thanks for playing.

                  • CB

                    I know exactly what you were referring to. He absolutely had inferior talent around him compared bama. Thanks for playing.

                    • ugafish

                      Does the NFL draft really support this claim? AnM had a loaded offense.

                    • CB

                      From 2013 – 2015 Bama had 24 players drafted, 22 of them were on the two deep in 2012 (that includes Ryan Kelly who was drafted in 2016), 6 D-Linemen, 1 LB, 5 DB’s, 6 O-Linemen, 3 WR’s, 2RB’s, and McCarron

                      A&M had 10 players drafted from 2013-2015, and they had 11 total drafted NFL players (including Germain Ifedi who was drafted in 2016). 6 O- Linemen, 2 WR’s, 1 RB and Manziel, plus 2 defensive players.

                      The answer to your question ye,s the NFL draft does support this claim in the sense that Bama had more than double the amount of drafted players when you compare both team’s 2012 rosters.

                    • CB

                      From 2013 – 2015 Bama had 24 players drafted, 22 of them were on the two deep in 2012 (that includes Ryan Kelly who was drafted in 2016), 6 D-Linemen, 1 LB, 5 DB’s, 6 O-Linemen, 3 WR’s, 2RB’s, and McCarron

                      A&M had 10 players drafted from 2013-2015, and they had 11 total drafted NFL players (including Germain Ifedi who was drafted in 2016). 6 O- Linemen, 2 WR’s, 1 RB and Manziel, plus 2 defensive players.

                      The answer to your question ye,s the NFL draft does support this claim in the sense that Bama had more than double the amount of drafted players when you compare both team’s 2012 rosters.

                    • ugafish

                      I interpreted “around them” as players “around them” on offense, and it looks like the AnM O and Bama D were close to even.

                    • CB

                      It’s funny how the qualifiers keep shifting the farther we go down this rabbit hole. I’ll gloss over how ridiculous it is to ignore the fact that Bama’s offense was far superior to A&M’s defense within the context of the game, but regardless, it’s still 12-10 in Bama’s favor with your added stipulation. If you take into account that Swope is no longer in the league and Evans was a true freshman it just doesn’t seem even to me, I feel like you’re really committed to your guns at this point and I respect that. I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree.

                    • ugafish

                      The AnM D played way above its heads that day, and Manziel had nothing to do with that. Point is, I am not a fan of giving a QB credit for what a defense does.

    • Sanford222view

      He also struggled to have a defense for the most part. I guess all the SEC records he set are a mirage. Imagine how far out of reach those marks would be if he could read a defense!

    • PTC DAWG

      Carry on with your dream.

  4. JCDAWG83

    Murray was talented but I always felt he was good for 3 turnovers, one usually a pick six, in any big game. I’m glad we had him but, like Stafford and Zier, he never won anything that really mattered.

    I will always think D J was one of the best qbs ever at Georgia. If he hadn’t been hurt for the Florida game, I think we would have had a legit shot at a national championship that season.

    • The Dawg abides

      I hate to say it, but I’ve always been kinda relieved we weren’t undefeated that season. I have no doubt we would have been looking from the outside at the title game between Texas and USC. Just would have been another ‘ if only’ moment for us.

    • CB

      Texas and USC were unfortunately 2 all time great teams that season, and I’m afraid Georgia would have gotten thrashed by either one.

      • JCDAWG83

        I would have taken the chance at the thrashing. DJ was a real talent and that was during the time when Richt was on his best game as far as being involved and really doing the job he was paid to do. We might not have been the machine Texas and USC was but we would have given either team a heck of a battle.

      • The Dawg abides

        My point above was that we wouldn’t have gotten a chance to play either one of them. We would have been ranked third in the final BCS poll, even at 12-0. We still would end up watching Wiilie’s defense get thrashed in the Sugar Bowl.

    • PTC DAWG

      3 turnovers a game? Give me a fucking break…back it up with stats…

      • CB

        He didn’t average 3 turnovers per game but had 48 turnovers in 52 games which is really high. In defense of the original statement there were 5 games in Murray’s career where he turned it over three times. Twice against Florida, once against LSU, once against Mizzou, and once in the bowl game against Mich State.

  5. charlottedawg

    To me Aaron Murray’s career dividing line was halftime of the 2012 cocktail party: before that he had a somewhat deserved reputation for an ill timed mistake at the most inopportune time in big games after that a qb that could put the team on his shoulders.

    That being said I’ll always wonder what could have been had Jeremy Pruitt and Aaron Murray been at Georgia at the same time. Murray wins several more “big games” if Grantham isn’t giving up score after score to every good team we played.

    • Charlotte, this is damn good analysis. The bottom line is that he never quit even when he made that ill-timed mistake.

      • Tim In Sav

        Murray was a damn good Dawg

        • I completely agree. I thought #11 either should be retired for his contributions on and off the field to UGA or should be given by the coaches to the player that espoused Murray’s performance on the field, his academic achievements, and his involvement in the community. A spot in the UGA Circle of Honor is ready for Murray when the time is ready.

  6. Normaltown Mike

    pfft, what about Mett?

  7. DawgPhan

    You guys never disappoint.

  8. Jared S.

    Boy do I love me some Aaron Murray. I hope he gets a chance to start for a decent team in the NFL one day.

    • Macallanlover

      Murray definitely deserves inclusion on this list, probably higher than 4th. Football is such a team game that to hold him responsible for a shortage of titles is a ridiculous comment. How many other greats never got the ring? Hundreds, and you only have to look back as far as Gurley. And the numbers are littered with non-UGA players.

      Aaron Murray was an exceptional talent, and leader. I feel he is in a real bad situation at KC and don’t expect him to get much of a shot. Looked pretty good in pre-season last year but never lost his grip on the clipboard during games. He may not ever see the field given his age and Smith’s. Perhaps he wouldn’t succeed in the NFL but I would love to see him get traded and him get a legit shot somewhere. Kid is a winner, might be a really solid coach in a few years.

      • If it doesn’t work out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mike Bobo bring him in as a QB coach in a few years.

        • Macallanlover

          Was thinking that as well. Hope Bobo has gotten a bigger job by then, and don’t forget Richt is in Murray’s home state. Wouldn’t be bad to go under some one new either, you always learn from working under different management styles (good and bad things to observe.)

      • PTC DAWG

        Nfl backup QB us a great gig.

  9. AusDawg85

    So, yeah, in terms of historical significance, Murray clearly fits in with names like Tebow, Newton and Manziel. There’s just one slight difference.

    There’s a far bigger difference…Bama beat one of them, lost to the others.

    I blame Saban.

    • Bama beat two of them. Tebow cried on the Dome turf after the Tide beat Florida to a pulp in 2009.

      • Actually beat three of them – Manziel in 2013 in College Station.

      • W Cobb Dawg

        Correction, Timmy was not “crying”! He was sobbing uncontrollably. Much as a small child would.

        Hard to recall any other player break down to that extent.

        • The only other time that was comparable was when Timmy Tears wept at the beating he took in the 2007 Cocktail Party.

        • Tiny Tears gonna Tiny Tears.

          • Tlkdawg

            One of the most enjoyable fourth quarter viewing experiences I can ever remember. I always reflect during moments like this, luxuriating in the glow of an absolute beating of a douche like Urby, how great would this feel if it was the Dawgs administering the well deserved thrashing in a game that truly mattered. hope springs eternal!

        • @gatriguy

          Timmy was a spoiled, entitled, home-schooled kid raised to believe that God made him just a little bit better than everyone else. Each time things didn’t go his way, he acted like a spoiled, entitled, home-schooled kid raised to believe that God made him just a little bit better than everyone else. It always shocked me that people couldn’t see that.

          • Cojones

            But….but…but they enshrined the passionate words he wro….uh, found and brought down from Florida’s mountains. You would think with all those hormones accumulating in his system he could have grown a full-length beard, but no, there wasn’t anything to prevent the dramatic tear-stained cheeks after a defeat. After those games I expected to hear a Golden Calf ra
            t

  10. @gatriguy

    Murray took his lumps, stayed 4 years, and got better each season. He played his heart out for UGA.

    Damn Good Dawg in my book forever. He was a fantastic ambassador for the university.

  11. WarD Eagle

    Murray was a terrific QB, no questions asked.

    If he had been around in the two TV games per year era, he would be remembered as one of the greats. If he’d won a Natty or Sugar Bowl for the SEC, he would be idolized. However, he played when there are 100 games on every weekend, during the heady days of the SEC, and amongst some unbelievable competition.

    And Still, he should be remembered as a HOF type player at UGA.