Defense wins championships but only one team can finish the season on top.
For the other 120-plus teams in the FBS they might as well have fun if they can't be champions, and what better way to enjoy yourself than to score a bunch of points.
To be a good offense you have to do three things well statistically: Score points, gain yards, and protect the ball. Per capita of the number of teams in each conference, which BCS conference most predominantly fills the top-thirty nationally based on the big three factors of a successful defense?
6. Big East
It's a sad state of affairs on the offensive side of the ball in the Big East this year. No teams rank in the top thirty nationally for points scored (Cincinnati is 36th) and only one fits the mold when considering total yards gained. Members schools aren't even that impressive at protecting the ball as only two are in the top thirty -- tied for fourth among BCS conferences.
5. Big Ten
The elephant in the room for the Big Ten this year has been lackluster offense. Only two teams (16.7%) are in the top thirty for points scored and total offense. Even worse is that one of those teams is the lowly Indiana Hoosiers. If nothing else, Big Ten teams take care of the ball well with half of the conference in the top thirty for offensive turnovers. Once again, however, Indiana is the high-water mark -- not exactly the poster-child of excellence.
Teams out west have done a solid job of performing defensively and that has covered up mediocre offensive output when considering the PAC-12 as a whole. The conference is fourth nationally in points scored with three teams (25%) in the top thirty, but they come in second among BCS conferences for total offense with four teams (33%) clearing the bench mark. The problem, however, is that the model for inefficiency is that of high yardage and low scoring output.
PAC-12 teams may be inflicting wounds on themselves as the defense within the conference has been equally as efficient by forcing offenses to work despite a lack of scoring. The difficult question remains: Is this a lack of offense, proof of strong defense, or a combination of both?
Teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference don't garner a lot of respect when compared to the likes of the SEC, Big Ten, Big-12, or PAC-12 -- but they may finally have some leverage when it comes to the argument of best offenses. They come in second with four squads (33%) among the top thirty for scoring and total offensive yards, and have a respectable showing (three teams) within that same range for turnovers surrendered. When compared to other BCS conferences the ACC comes in second in both points scored and total offense, but the quality of defense doesn't present as much a challenge as the two conferences ranking above.
One thing to consider when placing the SEC at this spot is how tough their conference is defensively. Despite that factor, conference squads still manage to land four times (28.6%) within the top thirty for scoring. In regard to yards gained the SEC falls a little short, but that only makes their scoring output even more impressive as a sign of efficiency against the nation's best defensive conference.
If you watch scoreboards there is little doubt who belongs here -- but that's not always enough. Thankfully for the Big-12 they play solid defense despite the high output on the offensive side. Not only are they tops in scoring and total yards but they blow away the rest of the field. Among the top thirty nationally in scoring and yards gained, the Big-12 has eight teams (80% of the conference) and five (50%) respectively. To top it all off, they also come in second in turnovers with four teams in the top thirty.
Sound Off: If Big-12 offenses faced off against SEC defenses; who would be left standing?
Justin Mikels is a staff writer for Operation Sports. Follow him on Twitter: @long_snapper