Carroll shoots down idea Alabama could compete in NFL


To Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, the thought that any college football team could have a chance to beat one of the worst teams in the NFL is absolutely ridiculous.

Carroll was asked about the possibility after South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said on the Dan Patrick Show that he believes this year’s Alabama team is talented enough to challenge some of the bottom feeders of the NFL.

“Alabama, gosh, they look like they could beat a couple of those NFL teams that I’ve watched on Sundays,” Spurrier said. “I think a lot of the oddsmakers out there, that usually know what’s going on, I’d guess Alabama would be favored by a little bit.”

Carroll coached some of the most talent-laden college football teams of the last decade during his tenure at USC. He’d been asked the same question as coach of those teams and was again asked his thoughts on the subject during his press conference on Wednesday.

“I was confronted with that at times [at USC] and the falsehood is to think that that could ever take place. It ain’t even close. It’s not even close. Alabama’s got a great team and [Alabama coach] Nick [Saban] is a fantastic coach, but when you matchup the interior lines against regular NFL teams on either side of the ball, it wouldn’t even be close,” Carroll said.

To Carroll, the discussion speaks little to the talent of the players at Alabama or some of his former teams at USC but more to the idea that 19-, 20- and 21-year old kids could physically handle playing against the type of player they would see in the NFL. Nowhere is that disparity more evident than in the trenches.

“Most of his guys are going to play in the NFL. Our guys were all winding up having a chance to play [in the league] but at the time when you find them when they’re still in college they’re not ready for it in my opinion. I used to say that. Don’t kid yourself. There ain’t no way. That’s how I think it would happen. It’s not the receivers. It’s not the running backs. It’s what would happen up front that would be tremendously shocking to a college team,” he said.

Of course, a matchup between the best team in college football and the worst team in the NFL is never going to happen. Therefore, with no way to prove either outcome on the field, it seems as though this debate will continue to persist whenever the next great college football team comes along.

74 responses to “Carroll shoots down idea Alabama could compete in NFL

  1. It would be such a slaughter; Alabama probably would not score. The worst team in the NFL is still full of the worst of the best. That’s why they look so bad. Even the most talent-laden college team is composed of either kids who won’t play football ever again or pre-rookies in the NFL. It’s no contest.

  2. Couldn’t agree more here, yes Bama is a great football team, but there will only be a select few from that team that make it big in the NFL, its called the NFL for a reason.

  3. College players may have embedded NFL talent, but they aren’t physically developed yet, nor do they really know how to play on a sophisticated, refined level.

    Although most casual observers can’t see the disparity, but the differences between the NFL and college players are as vast as college players are to highschool players.

  4. For once I agree with Carroll. Not only would the worst NFL team blow them up. They would hurt them so badly from NFL player’s hitting kids that even more hitting issues would become an issue in football in general. As much as I’d love to see the 0-16 Lions whoop and beat up the best college team around right now!! It’ll never happen.

  5. I’d love to see it happen. They used to let the college guys play the pros back in the good ol’ days. I’d love to see ‘Bama play the worst NFL team and see how it goes.

    That said, I think Pete Carroll is right, from a purely objective standpoint. It’s one thing to get a scholarship to play football; it’s something totally different to be drafted by an NFL team.

  6. Let’s be generous and say Alabama has, at most, 12 NFL-caliber talents. Guess what? Every NFL team has 53!

  7. To have an idea of the crazyness in Spurrier’s statement, even Pete Carroll is knocking some sense into him.

  8. Do people forget about the Super Bowl winners vs College Allstar Games that happened EVERY YEAR up until 73′? There is Precedent of NFL teams playing College players.

    The College players actually won some of those games by the way…

  9. Carroll is right, of course. Perhaps 5 or 6 players from the Alabama team will be drafted. If they are incredible, then let’s pretend 10 players would be drafted. But on the worst team in the NFL, all 22 starters have been drafted, as well as another 25 or 27 of the back-ups (there might be 3 or 4 undrafted agents who make the team). Any college team would be pulverized.

  10. It’s too bad. I’d love to see the Chiefs play against the Crimson Tide. Or maybe even a conglomeration of college all stars.

    Those types of exhibitions did happen in the 50’s and 60’s. And once in a blue moon the college guys won…

  11. For once I agree with Pete Carroll. And he would be the expert on this, having coached both outstanding college football teams and awful NFL teams.

  12. What makes Pete Carroll an expert on this situation? Yes, Pete did coach some pretty good teams while at USC, however, I believe that todays Alabama team, as well as last years Alabama team, would beat Pete’s USC teams by at least 2 touchdowns.

  13. I would watch that well before anymore stupid pro bowls!!!!!!!! I understand it probably wouldn’t happen because of injury but it would give the worst NFL teams something to fight for to not do. I say do it!!!!

  14. A backup defensive tackle on just about every NFL team would own almost any college lineman. Imagine what would happen when your soon-to-be undrafted free agent right guard tries to block a physically mature Suh, Dockett, Ngata or JJ Watt. It would be a bloodbath.

  15. Here’s a first for me, I actually agree with Carroll but I want to add that the receivers and backs would be in for a hell of a shock at the physicality and speed at the NFL level.

  16. I actually agree with Pete and actually for about the same reasons. I think linesman would be overwhelmed but other parts of the team as well. Oh man this is scary…. maybe the Mayans were right afterall.

  17. Hes right you reach your full potential strength at age 25. Theres no way 19,20,21 year olds could even beat the 0-16 detriot lions, i dont care how many future first round picks alabama has on their team.

  18. BUT: I am from Chicago. Back in the 1960’s [or so] there used to be an annual game between a pro team and a team of College All-Stars. And I am almost positive [although please check me on this]…that the C.A.S. WON a couple of those games. Thus, I would actually take Steve Spurrier’s side on this won based on ACTUAL historical games that have been played.

  19. Makes sense, plus he is being consistent about this topic. Remember when you was against Mark Sanchez declaring for NFL after just one year as a starter at USC. Not totally sure one more year at USC would have helped Sanchez for sure, but it was arguably a bad decision for the Jets to pick him so high after just one season as a starter.

  20. But what if the NFL team had a 5’11” QB that couldn’t see over his O line? Bet that would even the odds.

  21. To Carroll, the discussion speaks little to the talent of the players at Alabama or some of his former teams at USC but more to the idea that 19-, 20- and 21-year old kids could physically handle playing against the type of player they would see in the NFL.

    I remember Amobi Okoye was drafted at 19 years old, and Tyron Smith is a starting tackle for the Cowboys for the past 2 years. Smith is still only 21.

  22. I would rather see the number 1 college team vs. the team in the NFL with the worst record over the Pro Bowl any day.

  23. It persists only in the feeble-minded. It’s not even close to being a debate. Think of it this way. Even the worst NFL team consists of 54 players who have made the NFL whereas the best college team might have 10 players on their roster that will make the NFL. It wouldn’t even be close.

  24. He’s right, I think most of the inactive players on gameday could beat a college team. Not saying that Alabama isn’t good, just saying that’s how good the people on the practice squad/back end of the roster are. I mean even the best player on Alabama couldn’t match up with most back ups in the league.

    I think a BCS Championship team vs the worst team in the NFL would be a better Pro-Bowl than what we have now.

  25. Pete Carroll knows what he is talking about. The NFL is a league of their own and college football is not near as good.

  26. I’m no fan of Pete “Rah-rah” Carroll, but I have to side with him on this one. Spurrier was just looking for attention, as usual.

  27. He’s absolutely right, no way not even the Jags. Spurrier has no clue and he proved that when he tried to make big step to the NFL. I’d like to see Spurrier coach outside the SEC without its talent magnet and see what his record is then.

  28. He’s right. Take the Chiefs for example, since I think they are the worst team in the NFL. Their DE’s are 2xSEC 2nd teamer and the other guy was the only guy EVER to win Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Outland Trophy, the Lott Trophy and the Lombardi Award. On offense they all were drafted in the top 3 rounds except the center. That center started at guard in 2 SuperBowls for Indianaplis and has started like 60 NFL games. I love SEC football and Nick saban is awesome at the college level but he wasn’t exactly tearing things up at the pro level. McCarron, Alabamas QB, isn’t exactly good enough to light it up at the NFL level either.

    Chiefs win by atleast 2 TD’s.

    I love Spurrier and he is a great quote machine , but maybe he forgot just how much better the NFL was. I know Redskins fans haven’t forgotten his failures.

  29. Between the 1930s and 1970s there used to be a game between the defending NFL champion and a team of college all-stars. Most other posts on this topic on other sites mention this. That Spurrier is wrong was proven for 40 years (NFL teams were 31-9-1 in the game). There is no debate….

  30. The reason why Spurrier thought that is because Bama whooped s.c. about as bad as real nfl teams whooped spurrier when he was head coaching in the nfl.

  31. The footwork needed on the o-line isn’t quite there in college. Just imagine them trying to stop someone like Cameroon wake of the Phins, considered to be a bottom feeder (along with the rest of the AFC, ohhh diss lol) wake gets doubled none sup in the NFL and still consistently gets to the QBs. This would turn the dolphins into the 85 bears on defense and the 2011 packers on offense. In my opinion it would be similar to when a great college team goes up against a non FBS school and plays even for the first quarter, then loses 70-7.

  32. So he follows up a really dumb statement earlier in the week with fairly obvious statement that already accepted as fact by everyone (except ex-NFL coaching flops)

    Interesting press skills.

  33. I agree 100 % with Pete on this one. The NFL lineman would destroy college kids. 2001 Miami was awesome but Ken Dorsey was their QB. Ditto 2002 Ohio St with mighty QB… Craig Krenzel. Tebow, Leinart and Vince Young dominated college football, not so much in the NFL. Carolina is 1-6 right now but Cam Newton and company would run over Bama. Even the “bottom feeder” Chiefs have G. Dorsey, T. Jackson, T. Hali, E. Berry, D. Johnson and that’s just on defense. And remember Spurrier didn’t say they Bama would win 1 in 100, he said they would be favored! Not a chance.

  34. Don’t be silly, Steve. Every player on the worst team in the NFL is better than 90% of the players on The Tide.

  35. Some of Alabama’s players will make it to the NFL…..All of the players on the worst NFL team made it to the League. Get it. Heck, Alabama might not beat LSU.

  36. If Spurrier was being facetious, the joke’s on us.

    But if Spurrier was being sincere, he’s absolutely insane – for the key reason Carroll mentioned, plus a number of others.

    Spurrier was successful as a college athlete, but a failure as a pro.

    And Spurrier was/is successful in college coaching, but a failure as a pro.

    If Spurrier couldn’t succeed against pros at any level (ever), what makes him think he’s qualified to determine a matter as audacious as this?

  37. Spurrier you know nothing about the NFL, you were a failure. The game wouldnt be close old man.

  38. While I understand why it won’t ever happen, I think it would be a great “eye-opening” kind of experience for the top college programs to have the best college team take on the worst NFL team after the regular season is over. Play that instead of the Pro Bowl and have the proceeds go to NFL charities.

  39. In 1963, the NFL-Champion Green Bay Packers were beaten by a quickly-thrown-together Team of College All-Stars.

  40. but when you matchup the interior lines against regular NFL teams on either side of the ball, it wouldn’t even be close,” Carroll said.
    The fact that Spurrier doesn’t get that or even understand the difference in the speed of the game in the NFL is beyond belief. Yes, Carroll is stating the obvious. That’s no big deal. The big deal is that Spurrier thought he could win in the NFL with Danny Weurfel as a starting quarterback. Passing lanes in NCAA football and decision making skills of quarterback as well as the difference in interior lines, make it a different “sport”. Danny Weurfel may have been as effective as Tom Brady at the NCAA level. But it takes a different type of football player to succeed at the next level and you just don’t get thre on day one (with the exception of running backs or some wide receivers).

  41. carroll is completely correct. the line at the pro level are just bigger and stronger no doubt about it.

    imagine an NFL power run team like the ravens (when they decide to run) and vikings .. they would steamroll over that college D.

    an no college OLine is blocking a pro DLine .. ever take a close look at people like haloti ngata and justin smith? those monsters will cripple that college QB on the first play of the game.

  42. carr3rules says:
    Nov 1, 2012 8:52 AM
    OMG Pete Carroll actually said something that makes sense!

    He must have been talking in his sleep.

  43. For those of you saying “it would be awesome to watch”. You can’t be serious, what would be awesome? Seeing fully developed men absolutely crush 20 year olds? Give me a break. This isn’t the 50s,60s,and 70s anymore and they stopped playing those games for a reason. The gap between today’s average NFL player and today’s average D1 NCAA player is HUGE. Much bigger than it was in ’73. Get real people.

  44. Um…the College All Stars beat the NFL Champion Packers in 1937 and 1963. So, it has been done in the past. But I’m guessing that an “all star” team would be more representative of an NFL team than a regular college team.

  45. Years back i got into a HEATED argument with some guy back in college. This idiot thought that Oklahoma (who seemed unstoppable at the time) could beat the lowly Detroit Lions. I am fan of the Lions and I just kept telling him that it would be a bloodbath. Watching some college player try to block Shaun Rogers in his hey day wouldve been a massacre. Not long after that Oklahoma was destroyed by Kansas….

  46. i would bet that before halftime the college team would just say: “um .. we don’t want to play anymore” and just get into their team bus and drive away. hahaha

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