Alabama Crimson Tide defense championship quality or not

Mandatory Credit: Kent Gidley via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kent Gidley via USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Crimson Tide
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

Alabama Crimson Tide fans are asking is the Nick Saban – Pete Golding defense good enough for Championship aspirations.

As much as Alabama Crimson Tide fans want to know if the Tide’s defense is Championship-quality – we don’t know. There are multiple reasons why the question remains unanswered. One reason is, in this offense-explosion era of college football, how much defense does it take to win a Championship? That defense no longer ‘wins’ championships, does not mean stopping the other team is not important.

Comparing the ’20 Tide defense to the most recent Alabama Football championship defenses can mislead. The game has changed since the 2009 Crimson Tide held opponents to an 11.7 points-per-game average. The 15.1 points-per-game average for the 2015 National Championship Crimson Tide is a more current benchmark. Even that data point might be out-of-date in 2020. LSU won last season’s National Championship with the No. 32 ranked Scoring Defense, allowing 21.0 points-per-game.

Measuring current season performance against other teams is more difficult than ever this season. A few teams have played 11 games. Others have played only three or four. Arizona State has only played two.

Every season, comparing team stats gives an incomplete picture. No two college football, team schedules are ever equal. Scoring defense stats can be assessed, but also require a subjective read on the strength of each team’s competition. Consider how stats can mislead. Ask defensive coordinators if playing against a 49.8 points-per-game average offense or 49.2 points-per-game offense matters. This season the teams with those stats are Kent State and the Alabama Crimson Tide. A nearly unanimous opinion would be the two offenses are not even closely comparable.