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Spot on imo
The amazing thing regarding Bama's standards for defense, this was not a A+ defense. Very green in some spots and some older players having lapses. But overall, a very good group. I would either give them a A- or B+. Just too many yards given up in the big games.
Now the offense was a definite A+. No complaints there. If the offensive line can gel pretty quickly, AJ's passing stats could be even better.
agreed...that was a pretty weak synopsis. I'd certainly say this year's defense doesn't warrant an A+, for the reasons you cited. If you JUST look at scoring defense, you might have an argument, but I thought the point of these "year end report cards" was to be very broad in scope...
1960 Les Paul
True, but our defense was the best in college football this year. So, Professor, do you grade your exams on a curve? (g)
"The Lord just wasn't with us, Coach."
"The Lord," grumbled Bryant, "expects you to block and tackle."
Rick Bragg, August 8, 2012
Even by Bama standards, this was a stellar defense. Last year we had an almost once-in-a-generation type defense, and, while that is certainly a goal to aspire to, you have to realize we're not going to hit that mark very often. It's just not reasonable to expect that.
From a numbers perspective, our defense was very similar to our 2009 defense:
Total Yards (national rank)
2009: 3435 (2)
2012: 3500 (1)
Yards Per Play
2009: 4.08 (4)
2012: 4.18 (2)
2009: 11.7 (2)
2012: 10.9 (1)
Again, I understand that we have high expectations, and that's all right. Since this whole article was a report card, I suggest we look at it this way: our defense this year is like a kid who earned a final grade of 98: high marks but not quite perfect, while last years defense is like that one kid in every class that not only aced all of their exams, but got all of the bonus questions and extra credit right and finished with a final grade of an off-the-charts 114.
Bravo ESPN Bravo !!
Sustaining this level of excellence over this span of time will be the subject of several books in a few years as scholars and experts try to find how Saban did it. His leadership is a thing to behold. Enjoy. You don't get to see this much in any arena of life.
Great post. As with 2009 & 2011, our 2nd-3rd string defense was on the field a substantial portion of many games in the 2nd half. There were a few times this year where late touchdowns or field goals blemished an otherwise dominating performance & a potential shutout.
I agree that this year's D was not quite as good as 2009's or 2011's, but it was the envy of the entire FBS. As mxylplyx stated above, our standards are much higher that everyone else's. I'd give this defense an A+, but on a 1-100 score, I'd probably give it a 97, with 2009 = 99, and 2011 = 100. Anyway you cut it, the defense was not perfect but outstanding nonetheless.
When you try to compare a defense or offense for that matter from one year to the next, you have to take into consideration the competetion each year. When you look at this years defense, the numbers compared to last year are very close and even a little better in some areas. That being said, comparing 2012 to 2011 as well as the competition then 2012 does deserve a high grade. Heck if we want to compare years, the 1961 team only gave up something like 37 points the entire year, does that make them a better defensive team than this years. The athletes of that era is no where as big, fast and strong as today and they couldn't stay on the field with todays athletes.
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