ESPN's Ivan Maisel leads the College Football front page with an article which questions the paradigm that "defense wins championships." It's a conversation starter, no doubt, but in the end, it's a bit of a faux debate. Within the article, West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez notes that while it may be true that defense alone isn't enough these days, a championship caliber team must excel in all three phases of the game (including offense and special teams).
I was mildly perturbed that Maisel neglected to mention that USC's 2004 championship team featured one hell of a defense. Still, there's truth in the article's premise: it takes more than a stingy defense to get to the top these days. Alabama's title hopes in 2005 disappeared the moment Tyrone Prothro broke his leg, for example.
In the end, balance is more important than it's ever been. With so many gifted players streaking about the field on offense, with large gaps of space between them in the spread offenses that many teams run, it's becoming harder and harder to just rely on defense. Nonetheless, only a fool would deny that the improtance of both phases of the game. Like I said, it's a bit of a faux debate.