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.