Defense is the key
It’s said that defense wins championships, and in 2009 that wasn’t just a cliché. The top five teams in total defense — Texas Christian, Alabama, Texas, Florida and Ohio State — combined to win 63 games while losing only five. The top five teams in total offense — Houston, Nevada, Troy, Texas Tech and Texas A&M — were a combined 42-24.
Last year, Alabama was 42nd in total offense and stingy on defense. Only two teams, Cincinnati and Oregon State, had fewer turnovers than Alabama, which yielded just 12. Quarterback Greg McElroy might not have looked impressive against Texas, but for the year he threw only four interceptions to go with 17 touchdown passes. This year, the Bama offense will be much more experienced than the defense and might have to win a shootout or two to keep the Tide in the championship hunt.