The nation's top defense is ...

Our panel debates best D, top RB and which team will win the Pac-12 South

Updated: October 29, 2013, 9:39 AM ET
By College Football Insiders | ESPN Insider

MSU/FSUGetty ImagesMichigan State and Florida State possess two of the top defenses in college football.

Last week, "No Huddle" weighed in on the nation's top defensive player, among other topics. To the surprise of some readers, answers varied on the best defender, with Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack and Michael Sam all garnering top votes.

Beyond individual defenders, which team has the nation's top defense after nine weeks of the 2013 college football season?

In this week's "No Huddle," Insider's panel of experts debates that topic, as well as other key questions heading into Week 10, including which player is the nation's top running back, which team will win the Pac-12 South Division and what game (outside of Miami-Florida State) offers the most intrigue.


1. Which team has the nation's best defense?


Travis Haney: Michigan State. The numbers suggest that it's the Spartans. MSU's average of 3.55 yards per play allowed is almost a half-yard better than No. 2 Virginia Tech. The Spartans are especially good from linebacker to the back end. Where do you throw it? Both Darqueze Dennard and Trae Waynes, both of whom coach Mark Dantonio told me about in July, are all-conference-type guys at corner. Michigan has struggled defensively, but it will test MSU this weekend. WR Jeremy Gallon and TE Devin Funchess will be intriguing matchups for those linebackers and DBs.