Jonathan Crompton's game against Alabama helps to rehab his reputation

The ESPN Radio recent segment on Tennessee that golfballs03 posted yesterday featured Colin Cowherd talking about how Tennessee was going to be a "beast" once the Kiffin Chimera starts working with its own players. In doing so, he repeated several times the pre- and early-season meme that Jonathan Crompton was a "terrible" quarterback. Even accounting for the fact that Cowherd is prone to exaggeration, I don't see how you can still call Crompton a bad QB, not after the last couple of games.

Good reputations can be squandered with a single indiscretion, but bad reputations are persistent litle buggers. Beginning with the latter part of the Auburn game, and continuing against Georgia and an excellent Alabama defense, though, Crompton is slowly rehabbing his image. The 2009 Crimson Tide especially have a knack for making good quarterbacks look really, really bad. Have a look:

Team
QB
Score
Passing
Att
Comp
%
Int
Yards
TD
Rating
Jevan Snead
3-22
34
11
32.4
4
140
0
43.41
Ryan Mallett
7-35
35
12
34.3
1
160
1
76.41
Stephen Garcia
6-20
46
20
43.5
1
214
0
78.21
Tyrod Taylor
24-34
20
9
45
0
91
0
83.22
Mike Hartline
20-38
31
17
54.8
3
168
1
91.66
Paul McCall
14-40
32
16
50
0
189
1
109.92
Jonathan Crompton
10-12
36
21
58.3
1
265
1
123.77
Nathan Tune
7-53
23
16
69.6
0
126
1
129.94

 

Jevan Snead was considered the second-best quarterback in the SEC in the preseason by everyone but Steve Spurrier's unsupervised staff, which thought he was first-bestest. His image first took a hit against South Carolina in the third game of the season, though, and against Alabama, he was . . . well, let's say "terrible." He completed only 32.4% of his passes for 140 yards and threw four interceptions. He's not that bad, as his recent games have shown; Alabama's just that good.

Arkansas' Ryan Mallett is currently in the top 30 in QB national rankings, but he, too, had a rough day against the Tide's defense. He went 12-35 for 160 yards, one interception, and one touchdown.

The other QBs from BCS conferences -- South Carolina's Stephen Garcia, Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor, and Kentucky's Mike Hartline -- all had quarterback ratings of below 100 against Alabama, and neither Garcia nor Taylor threw a touchdown against them.

That FIU's Paul McCall and North Texas's Nathan Tune did so well against Alabama is a bit of a mystery. I didn't see either one of those games, but I suspect from the blowout scores that the Tide had some second-teamers in there for much of those games. Can anyone confirm?

Regardless, Jonthan Crompton did quite well against the team ranked No. 1 in the nation primarily due to its defense in a close game . He completed 58.3% of his passes (21-36) for 265 yards and had one touchdown and one interception for a rating of 123.77. Better than Mike Hartline. Better than Tyrod Taylor. Better than Stephen Garcia and Ryan Mallett. And much better than Jevan Snead. If it was not for the foreshadowing of the Georgia game, no one would have believed it.

It takes a long time to live down a reputation for playing poorly, but Crompton's performances against Alabama and Georgia are a terrific start. He's always shown tremendous class, especially considering the overwhelming criticism he's had to endure at the hands of foes and friends alike, but if he can build on his last two games, he'll have an opportunity to be lauded not only for his attitude and integrity as a person but for his skill as a football player as well.

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