Someone made a comment that UNC's defense is no different or tougher than Bama and Florida and other SEC teams. Thought that was an interesting comment, so here's what Phil Steele has to say about 2010 defenses (he ranks them by unit, I'm going to kluge that together). I've ranked them in the order Phil ranks them. DISCLAIMER: I fully realize this is Steele's opinion only, that he is just one dude, that he largely bases his analysis on stats (i.e. past performance) and that he looks at so many schools that he can't put all of this in context. It's just an interesting look at one set of data. North Carolina (#1 DL, #1 LBs, #8 DBs) Avg Ranking 3.5 (easily tops in the country) Florida (#10 DL, #17 LBs, #3 DBs) Avg 10 (probably Top 3 or 4) Alabama (#18 DL, #8 LBs, #10 DBs) Avg 12 (probably Top 5) Mississippi St (#19 DL, #32 LBs, #22 DBs) - 21 West Virginia (#14 DL, #30 LBs, #25 DBs) - 23 Ole Miss (#20 DL, #23 LBs, #33 DBs) - 25 Auburn (#14 LB,, #18 DBs) Arkansas (#19 DBs) LSU (#22 DL, #12 DBs) - somewhere around Auburn.... What does this mean? It means LSU will play 3 of the top 10 defenses in the country, maybe 3 of the Top 5, this year - based on Steele's expectations. It means LSU plays 6 defenses this year that rank somewhere in the Top 25 defenses in the country. And it means LSU's defense needs to be better than Steele expects (which I think it will be). When I have more time, I 'll compare that to Steele's prediction on offenses and see what that tells us.