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Perennial pigskin paradigm questioned

Defense wins championships is a staple of the coaching lexicon, but has the advent of the passing game changed the eternal premise of the game? Ivan Maisel explores.

Updated: August 9, 2006, 11:05 AM ET
By Ivan Maisel | ESPN.com

The notion that defense wins championships is as old as Joe Paterno's white socks. It has been handed down from coaching generation to coaching generation. Knute Rockne rallied his players behind it. Bear Bryant mumbled it. Bud Wilkinson preached it.

And now football has passed it by.

How many coaches have you heard say, "If they can't score, they can't win." The problem is, in the 21st century, they can score. Defense wins championships? Look again. USC scored 55 points to humiliate ...

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