I love your optimism, but: 2013: Best defense in the nation?!?!? We lost eight starters on defense this year. History says when we lose that many on one side of the ball, we struggle. The only team I can find that had a top 5 defense after losing that many was Alabama in 2010. We lost eight on the D 3 times since 2000, and finished 51st, 42d and 41st. Charlie Strong (no slouch, mind you) was the DC all three years. And this is not unusual. Most strong defensive teams take a dip to the teens or twenties, at best, and the 30s to 50s at worst. Personally, I expect a top 25 defense, but if we do a top ten defense, let alone the BEST defense, we will be doing something that is unprecedented since 2000 among AQ conference schools.