Defense DOES Win Championships (that is, D helps win)

ibuck's picture
February 12, 2014 at 7:51p

Interpretation is a key part of Joe Beale's post "Defense Wins Championships, Except When It Doesnt"

Saying "Defense wins Championships" is not the same as "The team with the best defense always wins." Is Joe equating those statements?

Saying "Defense wins championships" doesn't mean you don't need any offense, or that special teams are unimportant. 

One might also say..

Running the ball wins championships.
Special Teams / Field position win championships.
Place-kicking wins championships.
Luck wins championships.  

None is an absolute truth. And not completely wrong either. 

Nevertheless, without defense, chances of winning are slim. OTOH, games can be won 2-0 with a safety. Or 3-0 with a recovered fumble & a FG. Or 6-0 on a pick six with missed kick. You can also win 2-0 on a bad call, or lose on a bad hike from center. Or your star cornerback slips on ice, and you can lose to M*gan, but I digress.

Football is not simple, and we wouldn't love it if it was. Despite the posts by Joe Beale and Freakonomics, there is a measure of truth in "Defense wins championships." If there weren't, Jim Tressel would not have won 7 Big Ten Championships and a National Championship at OSU, nor 4  Div I-AA Championships at YSU.  

There are many Buckeye fans who think a better defense would have won at least one championship for Ohio State this past season. And maybe two. 

But not in a vacuum.


Deadly Nuts's picture

You can also win with no defense. Games can be won with scores like 42-41 or 63-56.


+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Which also answers the question..."did we win?".

We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

+6 HS
OSUStu's picture

Yeah, like they say "A sound combination of defense, offense, special teams, and other factors wins championships."

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+1 HS
Whoa Nellie's picture

. . . and so on.

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

+1 HS
InvertMyVeer's picture

Tressel says punting wins championships.

Football is complicated...

+1 HS
Mortc15's picture

Of course it takes an entire team effort, and every facet of the game is necessary to win championships. But, having an elite defense will go a lot further in keeping you in every game when another area doesn't play that well during a particular stretch.

Look at that '02 season and the Purdue game. The offense was very mediocre for 59:57 of that game but because of a great defense that gave up only 6 points up to that point, they had a chance to win it at the end. Without that great defense it doesn't happen. If I were to put together a team from scratch, I would, without a doubt, try to assemble a great defense before a great offense.


+1 HS
ibuck's picture

Let's hope Meyer, Ash, Johnson, Coombs & Fickell are doing just that: creating not a good defense, but a great one.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

Mortc15's picture

Completely agree. However, with the offense Meyer runs and almost always being able to put up a good number of points, good is all they need to be most games. If last year's defense was good, OSU plays for a title. Maybe they wouldn't have won it, but they'd definitely have beaten MSU and Clemson. If Meyer puts together an elite defense, I wouldn't want to be playing OSU any time in the near future.