Is the 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide Defense the Best Ever?

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Is the 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide Defense the Best Ever?
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A 21-0 shutout in the BCS National Championship Game against the top ranked LSU Tigers may have secured more than just a 14th national title (or 9th depending on your calculations).

The 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide just capped off a season as arguably the greatest defense in college football history. This was the first defense in 26 years to lead the nation in total, passing, rushing and scoring defense. Multiple touchdowns were surrendered in only three games and only one team scored more than 20 points against them. They helped avenged Alabama's 9-6 overtime loss on November 5th by limiting the number one team in the land to only 93 offensive yards.

The talent in this defense could be mistaken for an NFL starting lineup at times, especially because of their linebackers and secondary.

Dont'a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw will be among the first linebackers chosen in the next NFL Draft, while Nico Johnson and super-sub C.J. Mosley could be among the first off the board in next year's draft.

LSU's cornerback duo of Jim Thorpe-winner Morris Claiborne and Heisman-finalist Tyrann Mathieu may gotten more attention this season, but the Crimson Tide's secondary is just as talented and deeper.

Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Barron, and Robert Lester could all be first round picks in April. Dee Milliner and Jarrick Williams could also be future first round picks and would have been star players on most defenses this past season, instead both sophomores played reserve roles on the Tide's title winning team.

The 2011 Crimson Tide defense was historic but it may not have been the best or most dominant of all-time. In fact it may not even be the best that has ever taken the field in Tuscaloosa for the matter.

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