BCS Bowl Predictions 2012: Defensive Battles Fans Will Be Buzzing About

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 17:  Manti T'eo #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish encourages the crowd to cheer during a game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium on November 17, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 38-0.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Bowl season is finally upon us which means that college football's best teams will take center stage as they take advantage of their final opportunity to define their season. 

While many can't wait to see teams like Oregon, Texas A&M and Baylor score silly amounts of points, there are those who still love a good old-fashioned defensive slugfest. Flashy offenses may entertain and get the gaudy numbers that draw the attention, but hard-hitting defenses still lead the way for many of college football's best teams.

These games feature tough defenses that are sure to please even the most staunch football purist.


Orange Bowl: Louisville Cardinals vs. Florida State Seminoles

One of the best defensive minds in college football will coach against a team with one of the most talented defenses in the country in this Orange Bowl matchup.

Louisville head coach Charlie Strong has long been regarded as a defensive genius going back to his time as Florida's defensive coach and coordinator from 2002-2009. His unit may not be the most skilled in the country, but he consistently puts it in a position to succeed and will have plenty of time to come up with a game plan to combat E.J. Manuel and the Florida State offense.

The Florida State defense was touted as one of the most talented in the country in the preseason, and it didn't disappoint. 

The Seminoles are second in the nation in total defense at 249 yards allowed per game. The front seven is a brutal matchup for anyone and Bjoern Werner is considered to be one of the top defensive prospects in the country if the junior declares for the NFL draft. 


Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Say what you will about how deserving the 8-5 Badgers are of an appearance in a BCS bowl game, this matchup features two great defenses.

The Badgers have struggled this season, sure, but those struggles have come on offense. The Badgers are 16th in the country in points allowed per game at 18-1. Even in the Badgers' losses the defense has held teams to 20 points per game.

Stanford rode a great defense to the Pac-12 championship as it clearly earned its way to a BCS berth. The 11-2 Cardinal have had their fair share of offensive woes and musical chairs at quarterback, but the defense has remained strong. 

Besides ranking 14th in scoring defense in the country, The Cardinal can boast the best defensive performance of the season when they held the usually powerful Oregon offense to just 14 points in an overtime victory.


BCS National Championship Game: Alabama vs. Notre Dame

Lovers of defense rejoice! This game is just for you.

The clear-cut two best defenses in the country will battle it out for the right to call themselves national champions.

Alabama's defense has been touted all season as an elite group since the beginning of the season—that's the Nick Saban effect. Despite losing plenty of talented players to the NFL such as Mark Barron and Courtney Upshaw, most expected the 'Bama defense to simply reload.

Notre Dame's defense is led by the nation's most high profile defender, Manti Te'o. The fierce middle linebacker is a legitimate candidate for Heisman and the Irish have rode their defense to an undefeated record and the opportunity to win their first national title since 1988.

These two defenses sit at the top of nearly every possible defensive metric and are sure to be the talk of college football leading into this game. Defense truly will win this year's championship.