A final look at Alabama's dominant defense

A final look at Alabama's dominant defense
February 9, 2012, 9:29 pm
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Alabama the best team in the country this past season winning another national championship. The one area that may set this team apart from others in the last decade is their defense. I believe it was the best defense we have seen in recent memory and there is plenty of numbers to support this claim. Not only did they hold LSU without a touchdown in two consecutive games this season, but they led the country in three and outs. The Crimson Tide forced three and out on 34 of its defensive possessions this past season. That was 7 better than Georgia who was the 2nd best in the SEC.
The Crimson Tide defense was on the field a national low 720 plays all season. Imagine not only having the best defense in the country but only having to play 55 snaps per game. I believe the word dominant is in order. Georgia which was 2nd in 3 and out percentage per possessions on defense was on the field for 870 snaps last season. They did play one extra game, but those averages out to eight plays more per game.
How about some conference numbers once again to support the SECs dominance. First the league led the country with 166 interceptions. The league led all BCS conferences with 22 returned for touchdowns. The conference was the only league in the country to be in double digits in punt returns for touchdowns with 15. Combine that with a nation high 8 kickoff returns for 23 special teams touchdowns by SEC teams. The league has play makers on the defensive side of the ball and special teams and that is what gives the conference the edge in match ups outside the league. In 155 games this season the SEC teams forced 281 turnovers nearly two per game.
Two Minute Drill-
Georgias athletic director Greg McGarity talked this week about not adding a ninth game to the conference schedule with expansion. The gist of his comments is the development of the programs and the leagues. The extra non-conference game gives you an opportunity to do two things 1. Schedule a big name team like Georgia has with Boise St Etc. 2. Play another home game which gives your players that are down the depth chart valuable experience. It also helps financially which has been one reason Florida is consistently at the top of college footballs most profitable programs. In my opinion the SEC is hard enough and unless we go to an eight team playoff or more there is no reason for the league to make it harder to be involved in the BCS.
Texas A&M will have its home opener and first ever SEC game against Florida on September 8th. The Aggies will open at Louisiana Tech on a Thursday night instead of at home versus McNeese State on Saturday. This could be a dangerous opener because of Sonny Dykes program, but will allow extra time for the Aggies and new coach Kevin Sumlin to prepare for the Gators. It will be Floridas first regular season game outside the true southeast since 1991 (my senior season) when the Gators traveled to the Carrier Dome and lost to Syracuse.
The SECs Top 5 defenses at forcing three and outs(Percentage of three and outs per possessions)1.Alabama 342.Georgia 273.LSU 244.Florida 235.South Carolina 23
Some early spring game dates.Florida April 7th.Alabama April 14th.Clemson April 14th.Arkansas April 21st.
Follow me on Twitter @bradyack.

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