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Mandel Impressed By SEC Defenses

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In regards to SEC defenses, Stewart Mandel has a pretty close opinion to mine.  There is a lot of good defense being played among the big programs in the conference.

  • Auburn held a very dangerous LSU offense to 3 points.
  • LSU held a very dangerous Auburn offense to 7.
  • Florida held Tennessee to -11 rushing yards.
  • Georgia has 2 straight shutouts, 1 being over Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks.
Last year, of course, was the argument regarding whether or not it was a whole lot of good defense, or just a whole lot bad offense.  Mandel had an answer to that:
For one thing, the two teams had already proven they have capable offenses -- Auburn came in averaging 37 points and 436 yards, and LSU had posted consecutive 45-point scores while averaging 465 yards.
...
The same Vols offense that exploded for 514 yards in its season-opening win over Cal could manage just 220 against the Gators' swarming defensive front. And a week after posting 637 yards in a rout of UCF, Florida was thrilled to reach barely half that (320) in Knoxville.

There are some very impressive things going on in the SEC in terms of defensive squads, making it what many to believe to be the best league in the land.  While I do admit that the SEC could be a little top-heavy, the programs pulling this conference along are very legit contenders on the national stage.

This is what Urban Meyer has to say:

"These are the best defenses in the country," said Meyer. "I've been fortunate to coach against Pac-10 teams and Big Ten teams, Mountain West, WAC, Mid-American, even some ACC schools. I've had a little flavor of it all, and I really feel strongly that top to bottom, we're the toughest defensive conference in the nation."

It makes the Gators schedule look a little tougher, and those matchups against Auburn, LSU and Georgia look that much tougher.