Steve Spurrier may not have been a good fit in the NFL. However, the ol' ball coach says Nick Saban and powerhouse Alabama have what it takes to compete at the highest level.
"Alabama, gosh, they look like they could beat a couple of those NFL teams that I've watched on Sundays," Spurrier said Wednesday on "The Dan Patrick Show." "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."
Spurrier's notion that Alabama would be favored over a pro team is not shared by oddsmakers in Las Vegas. According to RJ Bell of Pregame.com, the Crimson Tide would be a 24-point underdog against the 1-6 Jacksonville Jaguars on a neutral field.
The assertion by the South Carolina coach also comes as No. 1 Alabama, trying to win its third national title in five seasons under Saban, faces No. 5 LSU Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
There is no denying Alabama's talent pool. Last season's national championship team produced four first-round NFL picks. But Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks since 2010, disputed Spurrier's assertion.
Carroll has a similar résumé as Spurrier and Saban. All three have won national titles as college coaches, and all spent time as NFL head coaches.
Saban won a national title at LSU (2003) and two with Alabama (2009, 2011), and was coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 2006, where he went 15-17.
Spurrier's Florida Gators won the national championship in 1996, and he coached the Washington Redskins in 2002 and 2003, where he was 12-20.
Carroll, who's 18-22 in Seattle, guided USC to national titles in 2003 and 2004. The '04 title since has been vacated because of NCAA violations.
"I was confronted with that at times [at USC] and the falsehood is to think that that could ever take place," Carroll said Wednesday at his weekly news conference. "It ain't even close. Alabama's got a great team and Nick is a fantastic coach, but when you match up the interior lines against regular NFL teams on either side of the ball, it wouldn't even be close."
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, who was part of Saban's 2009 championship team at Alabama, also weighed in on the subject.
"I don't know if they could compete with an NFL team, but they're more disciplined than most NFL football teams," Dareus told the Buffalo News. "They'd stick in a game with a few teams. They're just coached real well."