Ranking the Big Ten’s Team Defenses


Remember when there used to be a debate as to whether Big Ten or SEC defenses were better? That feels like a long time ago.

One year ago, the B1G featured four defenses ranked in the Top 20 nationally in points allowed. The SEC, meanwhile, featured six - including top-ranked Alabama at 10.9 PPG. What’s more, when it came to talent depth, it wasn’t even close.

Not helping matters in the Big Ten’s slipping defensive reputation was a 70-31 conference championship game in which Nebraska’s famed “Blackshirts” were charred to a crisp while Huskers QB Taylor Martinez ran circles around Wisconsin’s normally stout defense.

If any of the contenders for supremacy in college football’s second-highest profile conference have hopes of unseating the SEC from the BCS perch, they’re going to have to start playing SEC-caliber defense.

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