College football will enter the second month of the 2012 season this weekend and, once again, it appears that the Alabama Crimson Tide may have the best defense in the country.
The same unit that looked uncertainly into the future as it watched names like Barron, Hightower, Upshaw and Kirkpatrick disappear into the professional ranks last spring is somehow at the top of the collegiate heap once again. This is not simple happenstance. It is not luck. It is not a weak schedule.
Head coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart have again molded their wealth of defensive talent into a masterpiece that would challenge the Great Wall for superiority.
This defense leads the nation in points allowed per game. It is third in first downs allowed, 12th in yards penalized, third in pass efficiency defense, second in turnovers gained, second in total defense and fourth in rushing defense. We could go on.
Here are the how's and the why's of the Alabama defense.