Given the departure of one of the best team defenses in Big 12 Conference history—the notorious Blackshirts of Nebraska and 2010 Big 12 Player of the Year Prince Amukamara—analyzing who should become the most dominant defense in the new conference in 2011 becomes a daunting task.
To take all factors into consideration, we used the following power ranking system:
All 10 remaining teams were ranked 1-10 by overall 2010 statistical success, assigning point values to categories including total scoring defense, rush defense, pass defense, total defense, interceptions and sacks.
All 10 remaining teams were ranked 1-10 according to the total number of defensive starters returning for each in 2011.
All 10 remaining teams were ranked 1-10 according to their ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com overall team recruiting rankings for the 2011 class.
With the point values assigned to each individual category and category grouping, it quickly became clear which teams are among the top Big 12 defenses and which are, and should remain, the also-rans in 2011!