The Pac-12 is not known for its dominant defenses. With the addition of offense gurus in Mike Leach, Rich Rodriguez and Todd Graham to the conference's coaching ranks during the offseason, defensive-minded is not a reputation the Pac-12 will earn any time soon.
Still, a defensive stop can be the deciding factor late in a high-scoring thriller, or be the recipe to stopping a supposedly invincible offense (See 2011 National Championship).
That makes it no surprise that most of the squads expected to compete for Pac-12 supremacy also possess the best players and project the best on the defensive side of the ball. Here is a quick look into which defenses will reign supreme come fall, though the top four are incredibly close.