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Spurrier Sparks the Pro vs. College Debate: Why he’s wrong

The 2001 Miami Hurricanes are arguably the best college football team ever.

It is almost inevitable. Season after season someone tries to compare a college team to one in the NFL and/or NBA. It happened in 2005 when USC won college football’s BCS Championship. It happened with the Kentucky Wildcats that won last season’s NCAA Tournament. Seemingly every season someone tries to make the comparison and argue that a college team could hang with, and in some cases beat, a professional squad. This year is no different.

It isn’t surprising that the current Alabama squad, which is ranked #1 in the country and looking like a lock to win their 3rd National Championship in five years, is being compared to the cellar dwellers of the NFL. What’s surprising is not what is being said, but who is saying it. Former Washington Redskins and current South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier is the culprit this time.

There is no questioning Spurrier’s football knowledge. He knows the game and has the credentials to make whatever comment he wants on the subject but does he really think that Alabama could hang with the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars or Kansas City Chiefs? Absolutely not. Spurrier has been known to make a comment or two to the media to ruffle some feathers and that is all this one is intended to do.

The problem is that there are people out there who actually believe it could happen. To quote the great Mike Ditka…”Stop It!”

The entire notion that a college team could compete with a professional team is utterly ridiculous. As good as Alabama is, they wouldn’t stand a chance against the Chiefs, Jags or Browns. You could take the greatest college team of all time and match them up with the worst NFL team of all time and it would be, at minimum, a three score game in favor of the pro’s. For the following reasons:

1. Physicality – It isn’t hard to see that players in the NFL are bigger and stronger than those in college. It is a combination of body maturation as well as training and workout regimens. NFL players are older and in their physical primes. College players are not. That extra speed, strength and athleticism goes a long way in any sport.

2. Rosters – A college roster has around 70 players. Out of those, less than 10 percent, on average, will ever play a down in the NFL. That number is obviously a little higher for your elite teams but you get the picture. An NFL roster on the other hand is comprised of the best of the best college players. A team that has at most 10-15 NFL caliber players or a team that has 53 players of that caliber?

3. I.Q. – The longer you play a sport and the more time and energy you put into it, the more you learn about it. NFL players have more experience and have a firmer grasp on the intricacies and nuances of offenses and defenses. The schemes are different and more complicated to both execute and defend. College players don’t yet have this knowledge and would get lost.

While the concept is a fun one to think about and generates a lot of comments and conversation, it just isn’t logical. When it comes to the NFL and the NBA, a college team just cannot beat a professional team. End of discussion.

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About claytoncrowe

I'm an Accountant and an aspiring sports writer. Basketball is my specialty and my dream job is to be the General Manager of an NBA team.

View all posts by claytoncrowe

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3 Comments on “Spurrier Sparks the Pro vs. College Debate: Why he’s wrong”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    and a bunch of random dudes couldnt beat a championship female college basketball team.

    Reply

  2. Sean Breslin Says:

    This argument never fails to come up every football season, and it’s always equally as dumb. Every pro team has a world-class player at every position, whereas college football teams — even the best — have some positions where the kids playing them would never make it at the next level. It would be a 50-point blowout, at least.

    Reply

  3. stephenchott Says:

    Great job Clayton. I think people forget that even the worst NFL teams have people who were college superstars on their teams.

    Reply

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