The Washington Times - December 15, 2008, 01:50PM

There’s two ways a team produces one of the most improved defenses from a season earlier.

One way is to have a solid group and watch it become great. That’s what happened at Alabama and Florida this season (with the aid of some abysmal SEC offenses).

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The other way is to have a bad defense and watch it move much closer to the mean.

The latter is the case for Navy.

The Midshipmen rank 37th nationally in scoring defense, which is a good spot to find yourself before . Last year, Navy finished 108th in scoring defense, which needless to say was below average.

Navy’s turnaround – a 15-point swing per game – was the best in the country. Here’s the full top 10, with records for each team included:

School ‘07 SD  ‘08 SD
Change ‘08 Record
Navy 36.4 21.4 15.0 8-4
Northern Illinois
30.8 18.1 12.7 6-6
Florida 25.5 12.9 12.6 12-1
Alabama 25.5 13.0 12.5 12-1
Northwestern 31.0 19.3 11.7 9-3
Duke 33.1 23.4 9.7 4-8
East Carolina
30.4 20.8 9.6 9-4
Boise State
21.6 12.3 9.3 12-0
Nebraska 37.9 29.2 8.7 8-4
Florida Intenational 
39.1 30.6 8.5 5-7

Patrick Stevens