Alabama vs. LSU Rematch: Which Defense Has the Edge?

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Alabama vs. LSU Rematch: Which Defense Has the Edge?
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Alabama's 42-14 drubbing of Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium almost surely guaranteed that the Crimson Tide will be playing in the BCS National Championship Game.

Only the BCS would have it that a team actually benefits from not playing in their conference championship game.

While Alabama can begin their preparations for Jan. 3 this weekend, their undefeated SEC West superiors, LSU, must still play a Georgia Team that's won 10 games in a row.

Even if the Tigers stumble this weekend, though, they are likely headed to New Orleans for a date with the Tide in the national title game.

If Oklahoma State thoroughly dominates Oklahoma this weekend, there is a small chance that they will jump Alabama in the BCS rankings—or possibly LSU, if they lose to Georgia. But in all likelihood, it won't happen.

Harris and USA Today Poll voters have more respect for the SEC than any other conference. And rightly so, with the conference producing the last five national champions.

So even if the Cowboys blow out the Sooners this weekend, it probably won't matter.

With that in mind, it's time to face reality: The rematch is upon us. 

The main reason these two teams are here is the strength of their defenses. Both are replete with NFL talent, but which unit is better? 

The Tide hold the advantage in many of the major defensive categories, leading the nation in average passing yards allowed per game (116.3), rushing yards allowed per game (74.9), points allowed per game (8.8) and total yards allowed (191.3).

But much of that is due to the fact that Nick Saban's squad have benefited from an easier schedule. Besides, the Tigers are not far behind in most of those categories and they do hold the lead in another important statistic: turnover margin (plus-19).

In order to decide which group is better, the defensive lines, linebackers and secondaries need to be isolated. Here I will compare each group.

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