Per Dennis Dodd:
Defense wins championships? Think again. LSU’s title in 2019 may have marked a turning point in an era we already knew had arrived.
The five highest scoring seasons in college football history have all come since 2012.
The offensive revolution continued this past season with all-time highs being set nationally in completion percentage, passing yards per attempt and yards per play.
LSU in particular proved that it is becoming more efficient to outscore opponents on your way to a national championship. The Tigers ended the season with the third-“worst” total defense of any national champion since the beginning of the wire service era in 1936. Only Auburn in 2010 and Penn State in 1982 allowed more average yards among all titlists since polls began deciding things 84 years ago.
LSU also finished third-worst all-time for a champion in total defense, allowing 21.9 points per game. That’s behind only Ohio State in 2014 (22.0) and Auburn in 2010 (24.1).
Read between the sidelines: Scoring a lot trumps defending a lot. Five of the 10 all-time worst defensive performances by a national champion (yardage and points allowed) have occurred since 2010. None of those five finished lower than seventh nationally in scoring.
I don’t think that means defense is obsolete, but I do think Gene Chizik may be on to something when he says this:
“Here’s what I always say. … If you want to win big, one of two things [has to happen]. Offensively, you need a difference maker at quarterback, first-round draft pick guy, a total difference maker in college. Or you better surround him with a bunch of first- and second-round draft picks,” Chizik said.
Again, it’s something that makes me wonder what Kirby Smart’s been pondering for the last three months or so.