In Pete Carroll's nine seasons coaching the University of Southern California, several of his squads were so blessed with talent, they were considered semipro teams.
Given his familiarity with both the professional and college football ranks, the Seattle Seahawks coach was asked to respond to South Carolina (the other USC) coach Steve Spurrier's Wednesday comments that Alabama could "beat a couple" of NFL teams.
"The falsehood is to think that could ever take place. It isn't even close," Carroll said at his Wednesday news conference. "Alabama has a great team, and Nick (Saban) is a fantastic coach. But when you match up the interior lines against a regular NFL team, on either side of the ball, it wouldn't even be close."
Carroll said the best collegiate talent at the skill positions (wide receiver, running back) could translate to the pro level, but all college teams would be outmatched in the trenches. He said the difference simply is maturity: Many of the players at Alabama and the top universities might one day play in the NFL, but asking kids who are 18, 19 and 20 years old to take on grown men is preposterous.
"Most of (Saban's) guys are going to play in the NFL. Most of our guys (at USC) were winding up having the chance to play. But the time that you play them, when they're still in college, they're not ready for it, in my opinion," Carroll said. "I used to say, 'Don't kid yourself. There ain't no way.' "
Carroll continued to scoff when a reporter said some of his former USC teams were said to be the NFL's 33rd team.
"I wasn't buying it," he said.
Neither were we.
Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra