Grading the Top 10 College Football Defenses Heading into Week 13

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Grading the Top 10 College Football Defenses Heading into Week 13
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Notre Dame can thank its defense for being the primary reason the Irish are ranked No. 1 in the nation.

College football is full of high-flying offenses and video game numbers, but there's a constant that remains true despite what any other stat says: defense wins championships.

That's why six of the top ten defenses in the nation are on teams ranked in the Top 25, and why Notre Dame and Alabama are the top two teams in the country.

It's common sense—the team that scores more points wins, and if you can keep the other team from scoring, well, you have it in the bag. The SEC, a conference known more for defense than anything else, has become the most prestigious conference in the country by beating the opposition to a pulp.

Defense wins, and programs around the nation are learning that. If you're having any doubts, simply look at the stats in the game between Oregon and Stanford.

Teams have shown that a good defense can make up for a lot of deficiencies. The squads on this list have several issues, be it on offense, special teams, or a particular position on defense.

None of them are perfect (although Notre Dame, obviously, has the record to prove it). But their defenses are what sets them apart, and what makes them members of college football's elite.

Note: Teams are ranked by total yards allowed. Omitted from this list are BYU, Michigan State, Connecticut, and Bowling Green, who are all in the top 10 but are irrelevant in terms of big bowl games or conference championships. 

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