I don't think that you have to have the top defense in order to win a championship, but you have to have a top 10 defense in order to put yourself in a legitimate position to compete for a championship. You point to the fact that Pittsburgh had the top ranked defense this year in the NFL, but did you see that offense most of the season? They sucked, but their defense put them in position to win some games (even though they didnt). I also remember the stat they kept repeating over and over this year leading up to the super bowl where the team with the best defense won the majority of the time. Remember a few years ago when the Ravens won the Super Bowl with Trent freaking Dilfer at QB. Since they had a top notch defense all Dilfer had to do was not lose the game. Tressell even utilized this philosophy in his own game tactics. He emphasized defense, special teams, and ball control to play the field positon game. He didnt have any high scoring offensive machines. He knew eventually his defense or special teams would flip the field and give his offense a short field to work with. Look at Oregon, Texas A&M, Baylor, Louisville, etc. this year. Plenty of offense but mediocre defense. You can win with a mediocre offense and a top 10 defense, but you can't win with a mediocre defense and a strong offense. I think Michigan State is perfect example of this. They did not exactly light it up on offense, but their defense was so stout it allowed them to win games they might have otherwise lost. Give me a stout defense over a stout offense all day long and I will win most of the time.