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The top 25 college football defensive units over the past decade

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  • A few more additions that I made, many of these schools are already on the list. And changed a few other things, moved up Nebraska 1998 and moved down some other units.


    Very impressive defense, Sheppard was a flat out star at corner, Alexander and one hell of a senior season as well. Davis was in the middle and played great, Nattiel gave speed at outside linebacker. Manuel and Johnson were outstanding safeties as well. The defense line was strong in the middle with Warren and had Alex Brown on the outside defensive end, he easily had the best game I have ever seen from a defensive end when he played Tennessee at the Swamp. I have them just crack the top 25, I think they were that good.

    2000 Florida Gators
    DE A. Brown, B. McCray
    DT G. Warren
    DT D. Chambers, B. Gurley
    DE LaFavor, T Bullard
    OLB M. Nattiel, T. Carroll
    ILB A. Davis
    OLB B. Hardmon
    CB L. Sheppard
    CB B. Alexander, R. Cromartie
    SS M. Manuel, L. Norwood
    FS T. Johnson, D. Dixon



    Forgot about them, LSU defense, not great but the key is James and Faulk, two flat out great linebackers in college. Both elite players even as young freshman, had big time speed. At defensive back LeBlanc was a big hitter, Roman a very solid corner and Clark was another solid safety that provided good depth. Not a great defensive line but was strong and provided opportunities for those linebackers to shine. I have them ranked at 58th on this list.

    1999 LSU
    DE J. Green
    DT K. Allen
    DT J. Mitchell
    DE K. Mitchell
    OLB B. James
    ILB T. Faulk
    OLB C. Smith
    CB M. Roman
    CB F. Booker, D. Hookfin
    SS C. LeBlanc
    FS R. Clark, D. James



    Someone brought this up awhile back, and looking at it they are a very good defense. Such a talented defensive line that did so much that year for Iowa. Their best year as a group arguably. The linebackers were good, Edds and Angerer were very speedy. The defensive backs sound as always, fine corners in Fletcher and Spievey, plus solid young safeties. I have this group ranked 37th.

    2008 Iowa
    DE A. Clayborn
    DT M. King, Klug
    DT M. Kroul
    DE C. Ballard, B. Binns
    OLB AJ. Edds
    ILB P. Angerer, J. Coleman
    OLB J. Hunter
    CB B. Fletcher
    CB A. Spievey
    SS T. Sash
    FS B. Greenwood



    Cannot forget them, the defense that could have been in 2010. Still great in 09, very fine players, amazingly strong and deep defensive line with Austin and Thomas leading the way. Quinn had a great year also for them, the linebackers were always stars and always going to them stars. The defensive backs were talented as well, Burney was a stud and I really liked Melvin Williams along with D. Williams. I have them ranked 41st but could have been a lot higher if 2010 would have turned out different.

    2009 UNC
    DE R. Quinn, Q. Coples
    DT M. Austin
    DT C. Thomas, T. Powell
    DE EJ. Wilson, M. McAdoo
    OLB B. Carter
    ILB Q. Sturdivant
    OLB Z. Brown
    CB K. Burney
    CB C. Brown
    SS M. Williams, M. Merletti
    FS D. Williams, D. Searcy


    Loved their safeties, Morley and Berry were flat out studs, great players that completely made up for their lack at the corner spot. Solid linebackers as well, leading the way was McCoy. On they defensive line they were good with Ayers and Dan Williams also, not as strong as other years but top to bottom a solid and very good defense. I have them ranked 53rd on this list.

    2008 Tennessee
    DE R. Ayers
    DT D. Williams
    DT D. Bolden
    DE W. Brown, B. Martin
    OLB R. McCoy
    ILB Myers-White
    OLB L. Thompson
    CB D. Willingham
    CB M. Johnson
    SS E. Berry
    FS D. Morley, A. Gaines



    Finally got what I think is the roster for them, loved their linebackers with Bell, Polk and Sprotte much less Piece as well. Amazing corner in McAllister and Hunter was ok on the other side for Zona. Tafoya was a beast off the edge as well. Not great depth on the defensive line but overall a great defense and should be on this list. I have them 56th.

    1998 Arizona
    DE Tafoya, K. Fraser
    DT D. Greer
    DT I. Haroon
    DE M. Robertson
    OLB D. Polk
    ILB M. Bell
    OLB Sprotte A. Pierce
    CB McAllister
    CB K. Hunter
    SS G. Payne
    FS R. Jones





    And always due to change but as or right now here is how things stand in terms of what schools have the most defensive units on this list over the past 13 plus season of college football. The school is indicated, starting with the rank of the unit and then the year.

    *Schools with three units on the list:
    Ohio State
    4- 2002
    6- 1998
    13- 2008

    Florida
    11- 2006
    15- 1997
    25- 2000

    Alabama
    9- 2009
    28- 2005
    33- 1999


    *Schools with two units the list:
    Miami
    1- 2001
    43- 2006

    USC
    2- 2007
    14- 2002

    Florida State
    7- 1997
    17- 2004

    Nebraska
    12- 1997
    19- 2009

    Michigan
    5- 1997
    22- 2006

    Penn State
    8- 1999
    23- 2005

    Virginia Tech
    18- 1999
    21- 2005

    LSU
    3- 2004
    58- 1999

    Oklahoma
    20- 2002
    27- 2007

    Tennessee
    10- 1999
    53- 2008

    Iowa
    26- 2003
    37- 2008

    Texas
    29- 2009
    30- 2000

    Kansas State
    24- 1998
    40- 2001

    UNC
    41- 2009
    48- 2001


    *Schools with one unit on the list:
    Auburn
    16- 2003

    Michigan State
    31- 1999

    Illinois
    32- 2007

    Texas A&M
    34- 1998

    Georgia
    35- 1998

    Miss State
    36- 2000

    Wake Forest
    38- 2006

    South Florida
    39- 2007

    UCLA
    42- 2001

    NC State
    44- 2005

    Notre Dame
    45- 2003

    Louisville
    46- 2004

    Purdue
    47- 2003

    Washington State
    50- 2002

    Wisconsin
    51- 2000

    TCU
    49- 2007

    Cal
    52- 2006

    Georgia Tech
    54- 2006

    Virginia
    55- 2005

    Arizona
    56- 1998

    Utah
    57- 2008

    Kansas
    59- 2005

    Oregon State
    60- 2006

    Oregon
    61- 2007
    Last edited by Ozzy; 07-06-2011, 05:37 PM.

    Comment


    • I'd argue that 2009 Gator Defense was better then 2006. Also would add 2008 into the discussion as well.



      2009 Florida:

      gave up less total points (174) than '06 (189) and '08(181).
      gave up less total yards per game (252.6) than '06 (255.4) and '08 (285.3)
      gave up less 1st downs (208) than '06 (216) and '08 (234)
      gave up only 16 TDs by opposing offenses in 14 games
      had 20 INTs compared to '06 (21) and '08 (26)
      had 6 (not including Janoris Jenkins) draft picks compared to '06 with 8 picks


      LE Carlos Dunlap (2010 2d Rd)
      DT Omar Hunter (current RS Junior)
      DT Terron Sanders (2011 undrafted rookie signed with Baltimore)
      RE Jermaine Cunningham (2010 2nd Rd)
      LOLB A.J. Jones (2011 undrafted rookie signed with Denver)
      MLB Brandon Spikes (2010 2nd Rd)
      ROLB Ryan Stamper (2010 undrafted rookie signed with Detroit)
      LCB Joe Haden (2010 1st Rd)
      RCB Janoris Jenkins (current Senior @ North Alabama)
      SS Ahmad Black (2011 4th Rd)
      FS Major Wright (2010 3rd Rd)




      2008 Florida:

      LE Justin Trattou
      DT Lawrence Marsh
      DT Terron Sanders
      RE Jermaine Cunnigham
      LOLB A.J. Jones
      MLB Brandon Spikes
      ROLB Ryan Stamper
      LCB Joe Haden
      RCB Janoris Jenkins
      SS Ahmad Black
      FS Major Wright
      Last edited by bullg8rdaddy; 08-03-2011, 03:36 AM.

      "I don't do Pro Days, we send our scouts to those. I would rather spend my time watching film. The eye in the sky never lies. Functional Strength and athletic ability are the first things we look for in a college prospect." - Mark Dominik, Buccaneers GM

      Comment


      • bullg8rdaddy I'd argue that 2009 Gator Defense was better then 2006. Also would add 2008 into the discussion as well.

        There is no way the 2009 Florida defense would be over the 2006 Florida defense. That defensive line was so far better than the one in 09, Harvey was a monster off the edge, those tackles were flat out sick and crazy deep, Marcus Thomas was an animal, and McDonald was good from his freshman year on. Much less Moss at the other edge rushing the passer.

        Had much better linebackers as well, Siler was a great inside guy, Spikes was still on that team and Everett was big time on the outside. Yes they had better defensive backs possibly, Haden is better than those two corners, but Ryan Smith did had a star year and intercepted a lot of balls and made a lot of plays. And Black is a great safety, but Reggie Nelson on Florida was absolutely elite, he was all over the field and I would rank him over Black or Wright.

        Thus the 06 defense in my book, the defensive line was not even close, 06 wins that, the linebackers 06 wins that again pretty easy. Defensive backs is close but slight edge to 09, but not by much. Thus that is why I put the 06 defense on there.


        The statistics you speak off, ok sure but the difference in those stats are so small, and cannot easily compare statistics over in my opinion because a lot has to do with what kind of competition. All I know is in terms of players in college, I would take that front 7 in 06 over the front 7 in 09 any day of the week by far.
        Last edited by Ozzy; 08-05-2011, 09:36 AM.

        Comment


        • I liked the national championships LSU D. A boat load of talent on that team altogether though


          Comment


          • Originally posted by Ozzy View Post
            There is no way the 2009 Florida defense would be over the 2006 Florida defense. That defensive line was so far better than the one in 09, Harvey was a monster off the edge, those tackles were flat out sick and crazy deep, Marcus Thomas was an animal, and McDonald was good from his freshman year on. Much less Moss at the other edge rushing the passer.

            Had much better linebackers as well, Siler was a great inside guy, Spikes was still on that team and Everett was big time on the outside. Yes they had better defensive backs possibly, Haden is better than those two corners, but Ryan Smith did had a star year and intercepted a lot of balls and made a lot of plays. And Black is a great safety, but Reggie Nelson on Florida was absolutely elite, he was all over the field and I would rank him over Black or Wright.

            Thus the 06 defense in my book, the defensive line was not even close, 06 wins that, the linebackers 06 wins that again pretty easy. Defensive backs is close but slight edge to 09, but not by much. Thus that is why I put the 06 defense on there.


            The statistics you speak off, ok sure but the difference in those stats are so small, and cannot easily compare statistics over in my opinion because a lot has to do with what kind of competition. All I know is in terms of players in college, I would take that front 7 in 06 over the front 7 in 09 any day of the week by far.
            Strongly disagree.

            As a defensive unit, 2009 was better. Individual talent wise 2006 was better.

            "I don't do Pro Days, we send our scouts to those. I would rather spend my time watching film. The eye in the sky never lies. Functional Strength and athletic ability are the first things we look for in a college prospect." - Mark Dominik, Buccaneers GM

            Comment

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