10-31-2012, 06:54 PM
Before we get into this particular topic, let's make one thing clear. While Nick Saban was an atomic nightmare as an NFL coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 2006, and remains a general pain in the butt as a media presence, there's no doubt that the man knows how to coach and recruit at the big-time college level. Saban's 2011 Alabama team gave eight legitimate players to the NFL, and the fact that he's right back on top with personnel losses that would cripple a lot of programs is a testament to one thing -- Saban is right where he needs to be. And that's why a comment made on Wednesday by former Washington Redskins and current South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is pretty darned ridiculous. "Alabama, gosh, they look like they could beat a couple of those NFL teams that I've watched on Sundays," Spurrier said on Wednesday's Dan Patrick Show ( H/T to CBS' Mike Freeman ). "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." Well, not really. Alabama might have more talent year to year than any other college team we've ever seen, but to place the NCAA on the same talent plane as the NFL is truly goofy. Most programs produce a handful of draftable players at their very best, and the large majority of college stats will be be pro washouts even after they enjoy the benefits of NFL training and conditioning programs. Spurrier should know better. Like Saban, he managed to survive two years as an NFL head coach (2002 and 2003 with the Redskins), and like Saban, he couldn't wait to turn tail and head back to the college ranks when it was made clear that he was out of his depth. Any sort of matchup between Alabama and an NFL team? Heck, let's give Spurrier the benefit of the doubt and assemble a hypothetical group of big-time all-stars to face any NFL squad. *It would be men against boys, just as it was most of the time in the Chicago Charities College All-Star Game . This preseason contest between an all-star senior class and the NFL champions took place every year from 1934 through 1976 (except for 1974, when there was a players' strike), and both parties finally decided to disband the thing because the results were so one-sided. The college teams had an advantage in the early years, when their game was more glamorous and the NFL was still finding its way. But in the final 30 contests, the college teams won five games, and none after the 1963 squad upset the Green Bay Packers. You could argue that a group of senior college all-stars would fare better against a beacon of suckitude like this year's Kansas City Chiefs or the 2008 Detroit Lions (the only 0-16 team in NFL history), but the majority of those who have thought it through would seriously disagree. Frank Schwab, who writes for Yahoo's outstanding Dr. Saturday blog and helps us on Sunday NFL coverage, put it very simply.