College Football Preview, Part 5: Unit Rankings (Defense and Special Teams)

Butch Davis might be on his last legs at UNC, but he does have 'eligible' NFL caliber players all over his defense

Now on to the defensive positions and special teams…

Defensive Lines:

  1. North Carolina- Dominant last year despite suspensions, they could have multiple first round selections again
  2. Florida State- The Noles return 3 starters from a line that led the country in sacks a year ago
  3. Alabama- They might have to replace Darius, but they have excellent depth and should get plenty of pressure on quarterbacks
  4. Miami FL- They return 3 starters this year, and have some of the most talented d-linemen in the country
  5. Texas- They have a large number of guys back from the 2 deep and feature amazing talent that should get back on track this year
  6. South Carolina
  7. Georgia
  8. Florida
  9. LSU
  10. Nebraska


  1. Alabama-The top seven are all back from a group that was very good in 2010
  2. Boston College– Feature arguably the best LB in the country in Luke Kuechly
  3. Virginia Tech– They return 5 of the top 6 from a stout group last year
  4. Oklahoma– Lots of talent returns including the top tackler the last two years for the Sooners
  5. TCU– The specialty of Gary Patterson defenses, they have two preseason All-American candidates
  6. Texas
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Nebraska
  9. Florida
  10. Penn State

Defensive Backs:

  1. Alabama- Just another part of the Alabama defense that is simply amazing, they will be extremely good this year
  2. Virginia Tech- They return everyone from a good squad last year
  3. LSU- They might lose Peterson, but this group is deep and talented beyond him
  4. Florida State- Return all the starters and should be even better than last year
  5. Oklahoma- Another defense with limited amounts of holes, the Sooners look very good in the backfield
  6. Tennessee
  7. USC
  8. Texas A&M
  9. Penn State
  10. Oregon

Special Teams:

  1. Georgia- They have one of the best kicker and punters in all the country, and have big time weapons for returning kicks
  2. Florida State- Dustin Hopkins might have the biggest leg in College Football, but Greg Reid is the nation’s best return man
  3. Oregon- It’s rare for the Ducks to kick anything but Extra Points, but in limited action they were good last year, but it’s the return game where they flourish
  4. Michigan State- A very good punt and return game, just must replace the kicker this year, but he has a big leg
  5. Ohio- Featuring one of the best kickers in country, and a great return game, the Bobcats are legit on Special Teams
  6. Oklahoma State
  7. Virginia Tech
  8. UTEP
  9. Oklahoma
  10. UCF

    Alabama's Defense: Filthy

Best Defenses:

  1. Alabama
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Texas
  4. Nebraska
  5. Florida State
  6. LSU
  7. Virginia Tech
  8. Florida
  9. Georgia
  10. Miami FL
  11. South Carolina
  12. Notre Dame
  13. USC
  14. Ohio State
  15. Penn State
  16. TCU
  17. North Carolina
  18. Clemson
  19. Tennessee
  20. Pittsburgh

The question now is, how long till Oklahoma and Alabama play in January? Of course the reality is it ain’t going to happen!

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