“Defense wins championships”
This is a phrase as old as time. But in the CFSL, especially in earlier seasons, offense has generally been seen as superior. But looking back at the last three champions, they all had had killer defenses. Tennessee held the highly explosive Clemson offense to 12 points in order to scrape by and go undefeated in the SEC and win the Orange Bowl. Clemson has perhaps the best defense the CFSL may ever see. They had zero weaknesses, having key players everywhere. That defense won so many games for an offense that saw struggle throughout the season. And then the second CFSL Playoff champion Texas Longhorns were known for their offense. All season it was the offense who stole the show. But as we got late into the season, it was the defense who started to win the games, as Tatum and the offense slowed. It all came to a climax in the National Championship, as the defense secured four picks, including one in overtime, and was the key to Texas winning the game. Year after year defense has been the key to these champions. However, just because a good defense wins a few extra games is not a huge sell to some, but there are many other key things elite defenses do.
Turnovers are in general a goal of every team. They are game-changers, able to swing momentum like that. These have been the sparks for many comebacks and many teams getting an edge over an opponent. Turnovers can give a team the spark it needs to get some confidence. Ohio State used turnovers to bleed their opponents dry by not even giving them a chance to score.
WHEN DEFENSE WINS GAMES
While another famous phrase is offense wins games, defense can do that just as effective. I mean, if they don’t score how can you lose. Take, for example, Texas vs Miami. While G.O.A.T. QB Ray Tatum threw 5 INTERCEPTIONS, the defense stepped up and allowed the game to go to overtime, where the defense forced a fumble to seal the game. If you look at all the playoff games, there were so many examples of struggling offenses getting bailed out by the defense, again showing defense wins championships.
THE BOTTOM OF THE BOTTOM
At a look at the bottom 4 teams in the CFSL in the last few seasons. They are, in general, all the same: Teams with high-powered, high-scoring offenses with terrible defenses. And what do they do; lose week in and week out. Defense is needed for success in the league, and that’s why teams with amazing defenses are consistently at the top.
The offense is, however, still important. You can’t win if you don’t score. But saying defense doesn’t matter is clearly false, as shown above. In fact, it could be considered the most important, as the team who starts on defense has the opportunity to set the tone. So, after reading this, I hope you value the use of defense more than you thought you could. And as always remember, “Defense wins Championships.”