Although he should be a pro QB in the future, could A J McCarron lead the Tide against an NFL team? Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Alabama Football: Can Alabama Beat an NFL Team?


“Alabama, gosh, they look like they could beat a couple of those NFL teams that I’ve watched on Sundays.”

Alabama has been mentioned a few times this week in comparison to NFL teams. Steve Spurrier made the quote above on the Dan Patrick show. The coach has always been good at getting his comments in the news but is he right? Would Alabama have a shot against an NFL team? Probably not, but it is still high praise for the Crimson Tide to even be discussed in this setting.

There is a saying in college football that says any time team can beat any other team on a given Saturday. This “Any Given Saturday” (AGS) principle is why games are played on the field instead of on paper. Given the AGS, could Alabama, or any college team, compete with an NFL team?

From 1934 until 1976, a team of college all-stars played a pre-season game against an NFL team for charity. The Chicago Charities College All-Star Game, sponsored by the Chicago Tribune, matched the previous season’s NFL champion against a team of college all-stars. The first game, featuring the Bears, ended in a 0-0 tie. The Bears won the next year also. That game featured Michigan star and future world leader Gerald Ford.

In all, the college all-stars won 9 times in the 42 year run of the game. Keep in mind, these college stars were largely future NFL picks playing a preseason game – they did not all come from the same team.

Still, the comparisons to teams in the highest level of football are nice to hear. John Gruden flipped the tables on Monday Night Football this week and compared the style of play of the San Francisco 49ers to the intensity of Alabama. Alabama fans, of course, have made great use of Twitter in sharing his comments with recruits.

“This 49ers team is as physical on both sides as anyone. They remind me of how Alabama plays.”

Former Alabama player Marcell Dareus, now with the Buffalo Bills, chimed in also: “”I don’t know if they could compete with an NFL team, but they’re more disciplined than most NFL football teams,” He went on to say that Alabama was coached well and would stick in a few games against some teams but didn’t qualify that further by naming those teams.

Until someone says otherwise, on the field, Alabama is the best team in college football – even with the AGS principle. However fun it might be to think about, the Tide could not beat an NFL team on Any Given Saturday. The CFL, UFL and arena leagues might have cause for concern.

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