Welcome back to another installment of the “Defensive Size Matters” series. Yesterday we looked at the top 20 defenses in the country from last season and cataloged their front-7 weights. The results were very clear. 18 of the 20 best defenses had a front-7 (DL+LB) weight of more than 1780 lbs. All of the best 10 were over the mark. Having size in the front-7 will not guarantee a great defense. Certainly there are examples of defenses having good size and failing to perform at an elite level. But not having size is almost a guarantee that a defense will not be among the 20 best in college football. That is to say that having a sizable front-7 is a necessary but not sufficient condition to having an elite defense. We also looked at why Florida State’s defense was not nearly as big as it could have or should have been last season.
Today we’re going to take things more in-depth. We’ll start by showing that small defenses do not do as well as large defenses. After the jump, we’ll look at how the elite defenses in college football have changed this year. Then, we’ll break down the changes by conference. And finally, we’ll look at how FSU can grow by 60 lbs in a single off-season.