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NCAA Football: Offense or Defense which is better

The NCAA football season is half over and a number of things stand out after the first month and a half of gridiron action. Probably the biggest surprise during the first half of the season is the talk about offense vs defense. The debate about what is the best method to win, offense or defense, has been talked about on every sports talk show, pregame, postgame in bars and restaurants, in airports and at lunch break.

Look at the SEC, the conference that has dominated college football for the last decade. Look at the weird numbers. Alabama is leading the nation in seven different defensive categories. LSU play more than 100 minutes and 149 snaps of the ball without scoring one touchdown against FBS opponents. On the other hand, Oregon has scored a touchdown every 11.6 times they snap the ball or about 2 points per minute they have the ball on offense. Oregon has scored 43 touchdowns this season.

South Carolina another SEC stalwart has 26 sacks already this season, fourth in the nation. Alabama has given up just 1,087 yards all season on offense, while the Texas A&M offense has racked up more than 1,875 in just its past three games. Notre Dame on the other hand has not allowed any team to score a touchdown on the ground this season.

Many of the teams mentioned previously have a chance of winning a conference championship and possibly much more. Most of them have aspirations to be the National Champion. Winning is the bottom line, but how it is done is different depending on the coaches and the players that play from them.

After the first half of the season, the SEC has two of its quarterbacks in the top 20 in passing efficiency. The Big 12 conference has five of their quarterbacks in the top seven for passing efficiency.

On defense, the SEC has 4 of the top 15 teams in the nation for total defense, including the top two – Alabama and LSU respectively. The offensive minded Pac-12, has only one team in the top 25 in the country in total defense.

The Crimson Tide would rather hold someone scoreless, than run up the scoreboard. The Aggies of A&M would rather score than play defense. They had to score 59 points just to beat their opponent last week, Louisiana Tech by two points. In early October, the Florida Gators hosted the LSU Tigers and lost the game 14-6, but that loss, playing on the road at Florida, could help them classify for the BCS championship in place of another team with just a single loss.

Notre Dame remains undefeated thus far after beating Stanford in overtime last week and they are doing it with their defense as well. However, before everyone forgets that offense also counts, take a look at the score of the game between West Virginia and Baylor. The Mountaineers won 70-63.

So now with another half of the season to go, the debates will continue on. Defense or offense, what is worth more and how will this year’s championship be won. Imagine the tough defense of Alabama taking on the aerial show of Geno Smith and the Mountaineers. That game would be worth watching.

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