Despite a close call with Texas in Week 2 where the Tide escaped with a 1-point win, Alabama has rolled to a No. 1 ranking.

The close win at Texas and subsequent wins at Arkansas, Louisiana-Monroe and Vanderbilt were due in large part to significant efforts from the Alabama defense.

Alabama’s defense leads the conference in rush defense, outscoring opponents at home 173-10. The defensive line is loaded with upperclassmen, a huge advantage for the Tide. In their last contest, Alabama held Arkansas to under 4 yards per rush and less than 6 yards per pass.

For analyst Bill Connelly, Alabama’s defense is “as good as it’s been in several years.”

The Alabama defense will be on display this Saturday as the Tide take on Texas A&M at Bryant-Denny Stadium.