Looking back at the last three NFL drafts and comparing Alabama and Michigan State players from that game, you can now make that case.
First, a quick recap of the carnage that afternoon in Orlando:
Total yards: Alabama: 546, Michigan State: 171
Rushing yards (net): Alabama: 275, Michigan State: -48
Score: Alabama 49, Michigan State 7
- Crimson Tide All-American safety Mark Barron didn't play because of a shoulder injury.
- Heisman Trophy winner Ingram was the starter, with Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy serving as backups.
- Le'Veon Bell shared carries with starter Edwin Baker.
- B.J. Cunningham broke his foot in bowl practices and did not play.
- A shoulder injury kept William Gholston out of the game.
- Dion Sims did not play during the 2010 season.
|WR: Julio Jones||DE: Marcell Dareus|
|LT: James Carpenter||NG: Josh Chapman|
|LG: Chance Warmack||DE: Luther Davis|
|C: William Vlachos||SLB: Chavis Williams|
|RG: Barrett Jones||MLB: Nico Johnson|
|LT: D.J. Fluker||WLB: Don'ta Hightower|
|TE: Preston Dial||JAC: Courtney Upshaw|
|QB: Greg McElroy||CB: Dee Milliner|
|RB: Mark Ingram||CB: Dre Kirkpatrick|
|FB: Darius Hanks||SS: Will Lowery|
|WR: Marquis Maze||FS: Robert Lester|
|WR: Mark Dell||LE: Jayson Strayhorn|
|WR: Keith Nichol|
LT: D.J. Young
NT: Blake Treadwell
|LG: Joel Foreman||RE: Colin Neely|
|C: John Stipek||SLB: Eric Gordon|
|RG: Chris McDonald||MLB: Greg Jones|
|RT: J'Michael Deane||WLB: Chris Norman|
|TE: Charlie Gantt||CB: Johnny Adams|
|QB: Kirk Cousins||CB: Chris L. Rucker|
|RB: Edwin Baker||SS: Marcus Hyde|
|FB: Nick Bendzuck||FS: Trenton Robinson|
2011 NFL Draft
- Greg Jones: 6th round, New York Giants
- Chris L. Rucker: 6th round, Indianapolis Colts
- Marcell Dareus: 1st round (3rd pick overall), Buffalo Bills
- Julio Jones: 1st round (6th pick overall), Atlanta Falcons
- James Carpenter: 1st round (25th pick overall), Seattle Seahawks
- Mark Ingram: 1st round (28th pick overall), New Orleans Saints
- Greg McElroy: 7th round, New York Jets
2012 NFL Draft
- Jerel Worthy: 2nd round, Green Bay Packers
- Kirk Cousins: 4th round, Washington Redskins
- Keshawn Martin: 4th round, Houston Texans
- Trenton Robinson: 6th round, San Francisco 49ers
- B.J. Cunningham: 6th round, Miami Dolphins
- Edwin Baker: 7th round, San Diego Chargers
- Trent Richardson: 1st round (3rd pick overall), Cleveland Browns
- Mark Barron: 1st round (7th pick overall), Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Dre Kirkpatrick: 1st round (17th pick overall), Cincinnati Bengals
- Dont'a Hightower: 1st round (25th pick overall), New England Patriots
- Courtney Upshaw: 2nd round, Baltimore Ravens
- Josh Chapman: 5th round, Indianapolis Colts
- DeQuan Menzie: 5th round, Kansas City Chiefs
- Brad Smelley: 7th round, Cleveland Browns
2013 NFL Draft
- Le'Veon Bell: 2nd round, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Dion Sims: 4th round, Miami Dolphins
- William Gholston: 4th round, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Dee Milliner: 1st round (9th pick overall), New York Jets
- Chance Warmack: 1st round (10th pick overall), Tennessee Titans
- D.J. Fluker: 1st round (11th pick overall), San Diego Chargers
- Eddie Lacy: 2nd round, Green Bay Packers
- Nico Johnson: 4th round, Kansas City Chiefs
- Barrett Jones: 4th round, St. Louis Rams
- Michael Williams: 7th round, Detroit Lions
Alabama Capital One Bowl Draft Breakdown
- Alabama had 19 players (again, this list does not include Mark Barron) picked in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 NFL drafts who played in the 2011 Capital One Bowl.
- 14 of the 22 starters were drafted
- 9 of the 22 starters were first round draft picks (J. Jones, Carpenter, Warmack, Fluker, Ingram, Dareus, Hightower, Kirkpatrick, Milliner)
- Of those 9 first round draft picks, 4 were selected as one of the first ten picks overall in the draft. (Dareus, 3rd overall pick; J. Jones, 6th overall pick; Milliner, 9th overall pick; Warmack, 10th overall pick)
- If you include backup running back Richardson (3rd overall pick), it would make 10 first round picks, with 5 picked in the the first ten picks.
- Richardson rushed for 42 yards and scored 2 touchdowns, while Lacy rushed for 86 yards on 8 carries and also scored twice.
- Backup defensive back DeQuan Menzie recorded a sack in the game.
- H-back Brad Smelley caught two passes for 20 yards.
- Backup tight end Michael Williams caught one pass.
Michigan State Capital One Bowl Draft Breakdown
- The Spartans had 8 players (this does not include Cunningham and Gholston) picked in those drafts who played in the Capital One Bowl.
- Michigan State did not have a player selected in the first round and had two players picked in the second round (Bell, Worthy).
- Bell rushed for 13 yards.
It's amazing that Alabama actually lost three games that season. Much of the talent on display in Orlando that afternoon has fueled the Crimson Tide's back-to-back National Championships.