By Ben Cornfield, GamedayR:
A great offense will win any team a few games. A gunslinger under center can easily have the game of his life on any given Saturday and outduel an entire team to pick up a win for his program. However, at some point, that quarterback will be forced out of his comfort zone. At some point, that signal caller will miss his marks, miss his receivers, and he will throw interceptions. At some point, a defensive unit will step to the forefront and prove, yet again, that while offense wins games, it is defense that wins championships.
Rarely has that basic tenet of every football coach held more true than in the last seven years. The SEC has dominated the national landscape, not with wide open, spread-out offensive formations with a zillion different routes to run and wrinkles in the blocking scheme. Rather, the conference has raised the crystal ball seven straight times on the strength of practically NFL-ready defensive fronts and the most athletic defensive backfield players in the nation. In 2012, Alabama won the BCS National title for the third time in a four-year span. Even after losing guys such as Dont’a Hightower to the NFL, the Tide still finished first in the nation with a stout 10.9 points per game against average. Even worse for the rest of the nation, coach Nick Saban returns leader CJ Mosley. The linebacker finished with 107 tackles and should be dying to leave Tuscaloosa a legend following his senior season. [More]