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TRADITION IS THE FOUNDATION GREAT PROGRAMS ARE BUILT UPON.
There is a site called FootballOutsiders.com that does a statistical ranking of units.
LSU's 2011 defense is rated about a full standard deviation (essentially, a full tier) higher than any team this year at 159.6. In fact, Notre Dame is not the highest ranked this year, and is much lower at 132.8. (Michigan State is the top D this year, and Alabama a close second).
LSU's 2011 defense is actually the third best unit, by some margin, since they started records in 2005. The second best was 2008 TCU, who held everyone but that year's juggernaught Oklahoma team to two scores or less. The best unit was 2011 Alabama, which is rated as being way off in a class of its own.
So, in short, an objective outlook says that LSU's and Alabama's defenses in 2011 are incomparable to any team this year. Notre Dame may have 3 potential top-10 picks, but 2011 LSU had Mingo, Brockers, Logan, Johnson, Montgomery, Minter, Baker, Claiborne, Simon, Loston, Taylor, Mathieu, and Brooks. They could ALL be first-day draft choices and NFL starters. While the units may not be as good as an NFL unit due to age and experience, the actual talent level of UA and LSU on D last year is arguably higher than any NFL defense of the last decade.
Christopher Walsh covers Alabama football for BamaOnline, 247Sports, and is the author of 18 books.
LSU and it's not close. And I'm not saying that because I want it to be true. Notre Dame has played above their talent level.
If we play to the level we are capable of, Notre Dame is in a much lower class. They could be in for a very rude awakening
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