Scoring a major Sweet 16 upset, the 2000 Oklahoma Sooners proved defense was indeed win championships. OU stunned Big 12 rivals, the 2005 Texas Longhorns, to advance into an Elite Eight showdown of stifling stoppers.
The 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide bested its 2009 edition — presumably because of the 2011 Tide’s astounding 8.2 point per game yield. Other college football rosters have featured a bevy of NFL-level talent, like fellow Elite Eight contenders the 2001 Miami Hurricanes. But holding teams to just a touchdown-plus-two-point conversion for a season is absurd.
With the number of defensive possessions Alabama faced because of averaging nearly 35 points per game on the opposite end, eight-freakin’-points is all the more astounding. Of course, holding SEC champion LSU and its 38.5 point per game offense scoreless in the BCS championship was the crowning achievement of the 2011 Tide. But equally impressive is that not one FBS program reached 20 points against Alabama.
The Tide did give up 21 once — to Georgia Southern. Of course, Nick Saban opted to play reserves much of that late season contest.
Bob Stoops’ only national championship-winning team allowed an average double that of the 2011 Crimson Tide, 16 points per game. But OU also faced a murderer’s row of scoring offenses. Kansas State, Nebraska, Texas and Florida State ranked no worse than No. 8 for offensive output in 2000. The four accounted for five of the Sooners’ 13 games that season.
Take away the 31 points Oklahoma surrendered in its 41-31 defeat of K-State the first time those teams played, and the Sooners held half of the nation’s eight highest scoring offenses to a combined 54 points.
Much like Alabama in 2011, 2000 Oklahoma saved the best for last. Florida State averaged 46.3 points per game entering the 2001 Orange Bowl, and scored fewer than 31 points just twice. OU held the Seminoles without an offensive score.
Which powerhouse defense from these BCS era champions should advance past the Elite Eight and into the Final Four? Vote below:
BCS Elite Eight: 2000 Oklahoma vs. 2011 Alabama
- 2000 Oklahoma Sooners (51%, 136 Votes)
- 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide (49%, 132 Votes)
Total Voters: 266