Sports

In an age of point-a-minute offenses, make no mistake that defense still is No. 1 in Big Ten

  • FILE -This Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, file photo shows Wisconsin's Michael Caputo breaking up a pass intended for Bowling Green's Roger Lewis (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Madison, Wis. The Big Ten is represented by six of the top 20 teams in the nation in total defense, five of the top 20 in scoring defense, five of the top 25 in stopping the run and also interceptions. So even if the perception is teams are blowing up scoreboards with points, defense isn’t dead in the Big Ten.(AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

    FILE -This Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, file photo shows Wisconsin's Michael Caputo breaking up a pass intended for Bowling Green's Roger Lewis (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Madison, Wis. The Big Ten is represented by six of the top 20 teams in the nation in total defense, five of the top 20 in scoring defense, five of the top 25 in stopping the run and also interceptions. So even if the perception is teams are blowing up scoreboards with points, defense isn’t dead in the Big Ten.(AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, file photo shows Michigan running back De'Veon Smith, bottom, getting piled on by Minnesota linebacker Damien Wilson (5) and others including his own teammates in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Big Ten is represented by six of the top 20 teams in the nation in total defense, five of the top 20 in scoring defense, five of the top 25 in stopping the run and also interceptions. So even if the perception is teams are blowing up scoreboards with points, defense isn’t dead in the Big Ten. (AP Photo/Tony Ding, File)

    FILE - This Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, file photo shows Michigan running back De'Veon Smith, bottom, getting piled on by Minnesota linebacker Damien Wilson (5) and others including his own teammates in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Big Ten is represented by six of the top 20 teams in the nation in total defense, five of the top 20 in scoring defense, five of the top 25 in stopping the run and also interceptions. So even if the perception is teams are blowing up scoreboards with points, defense isn’t dead in the Big Ten. (AP Photo/Tony Ding, File)  (The Associated Press)

There are 10 Big Ten teams scoring at least 26 points per game.

Rest assured, however, that the late Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler would still recognize the conference where they once relied on rock-hard defenses.

After all, even though it seems every game ends up 45-38 and that spread offenses are running rampant, defense still has an often overlooked foothold in the 14-team league.

The Big Ten is represented by six of the top 20 teams in the nation in total defense, five of the top 20 in scoring defense and five of the top 25 in stopping the run and interceptions.