Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are about to steamroll their way through the SEC Championship and the 2018-2019 College Football Playoffs. The Clemson Tigers might give Alabama more of a fight than they’ve seen from other teams this season but I think the sports world is pretty unanimous in the belief that Nick Saban’s 2018-2019 football team is virtually unbeatable thanks to Heisman favorite Tua.
Alabama’s so damn good this season that a lot of people in sports media have been so bored by their success that they’ve given up on discussing which NCAA teams might hand Alabama an upset and instead the discussion topic is often whether or not ‘Bama could beat an NFL team. The answer to this question is ‘hell no.’ They’d get absolutely demolished by any NFL in the league and there’d probably be a ton of injuries in the process.
Ask anyone in the NFL is Alabama stands a chance and they’ll tell you the same. Bookies have even set some spreads for ‘Bama vs NFL teams and -28.5 against the Bills is the best spread they were given. The Crimson Tide wouldn’t have a shot in hell at beating an NFL squad. Pose this same question to Alabama football players and the answer’s are a little different…
Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated‘s MMQB asked former Alabama Football players how the Crimson Tide would fare against NFL teams and the results are a bit surprising. Keep in mind that Nick Saban struggled to win in the NFL with NFL players. He was 6-10 in his second season with the Miami Dolphins, a team that was Playoffs favorites going into that season. Yet somehow these ‘Bama players think Nick Saban would be the x-factor in a college team beating NFL teams.
“We would beat NFL teams,” says Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Reggie Ragland, who played for Alabama from 2012-15. “I ain’t even gon’ lie to you; it’d be a winning record, and we’d make the playoffs.”
“Being in the league, I can see where guys from other schools didn’t get our kind of coaching,” says Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, who played for Alabama from 2008-10. “The way Coach Saban taught us was just a different way. We look at this game differently.”
“The NFL is way too strong, way too fast. There are too many dogs in the NFL,” Dareus says. “I’ll safely say four wins. We’d beat teams because they would make more mistakes than Alabama. We may not be as physical, but other teams would make mistakes we would not.” (via)
SI also posed this question to NFL players who weren’t groomed at Alabama and the answers were different, as you’d expect.
Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell, a University of Miami alum, cannot abide. “You’re talking about kids!” Campbell says. “Even a team of rookies has no chance. You might have four or five NFL stars on an Alabama team, but they’ve got to develop first. It took Mark [Ingram] a couple years to develop. It takes everyone time!” (via)
Not every former Alabama player has been brainwashed into thinking this program is somehow a gift from the football gods. Mark Ingram’s response was essentially that even the worst NFL team is still completely stacked with the best players from every college. He says Alabama will always have a handful of future NFL Pro Bowlers on it but that doesn’t compare to the worst NFL squad that still has the very best from every college.
I can fully see how these current and former Alabama players who might’ve lost less than 5 football games in college, and probably experienced more of the same success in HS, somehow believe they’re unbeatable. If they’ve spent the better part of the past decade *not* losing then the idea of losing against anyone is incomprehensible…until they get to the NFL.
There are many more responses in the MMQB about whether or not Alabama can beat an NFL team. You can click here to read that article in full and check out the rest of the responses.