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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
Most every fan knows if his team's starting quarterback -- or leading rusher -- is coming back next season.
Some, of course, know the name of every returning starter. And some have even memorized the two-deep depth chart. Or three.
For most fans, however, defense often becomes a nameless blob of "10 starters back ... yippee!" Or "just three guys back? Yikes!"
(Oregon State fans upon finding out they only have three defensive starters back merely write 15,000-word essays about why this doesn't matter, based on a complicated series of mathematical equations and coordinator Mark Banker's ability to teach his players to breathe through their eyelids).
So I went through each team to figure out how many of the top-four tacklers from last season are coming back in 2009.
Some of these surprised me (my suspicion that UCLA will improve significantly next season got another boost).
Arizona: Lost three of top four
Arizona State: Lost two of top four
California: Lost two of top four
Oregon: Lost two of top four
Oregon State: Lost three of top five (tie for fourth-leading tackler)
Stanford: Lost two of top four
UCLA: Lost one of top four
USC: Lost four of top four
Washington: Lost zero of top four
Washington State: Lost one of top four