Everyone who hates the spread should just watch Stanford and feel like they're back in the 80's all over again.
Spread Is Dead Update: Still Not Very Dead
I feel happy!
Every offseason there is someone (often named Gary Danielson) who goes on record proclaiming the doom of the spread offense and a return to the paleolithic days when quarterbacks were pale and made of granite. The best and dumbest remains this from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
This may sound strange when coach Mike Leach's version of the spread has Texas Tech near a national title game, but Michigan's struggles this season while Rodriguez has implemented his system into college football's winningest program might be a sign: The spread, in fact, is dead.
The scheme was designed to give underdogs some hope, when a team could open up the field by recruiting a smaller quarterback with a sharp mind and a quick release, and a handful of speedy receivers. But the offense intended to confound the big boys has now been adopted by the big boys, and that may have started its demise.
But that was two years ago.
This year's evidence centered heavily on…
Texas abandoning the vestigal Vince Young-y bits from its offense after the graduation of Colt McCoy and ascension of monolithic Garrett Gilbert to the helm:
With the exit of Colt McCoy, so goes the shotgun spread for the Texas Longhorns. For the 2010 season, Mack Brown and offensive coordinator Greg Davis have decided to go under center with starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert.
Going under center could mean the beginning of the end for the spread, a style that was made popular by powerhouse SEC programs and then picked up by other conferences.
Florida abandoning the Tebow offense in favor of a conventional pocket passer:
Meyer and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio tweaked the spread offense to tailor Brantley’s strengths, putting him under center more and eliminating many designed quarterback runs.
The effectiveness of Alabama's traditional battering ram of an offense featuring returning Heisman winner Mark Ingram:
When Alabama prevailed last season, it was with gnarly defense and a vanilla offensive scheme — albeit led by Heisman Trophy-winning back Mark Ingram.
That profile in turn had ripples for Texas, a 37-21 loser to the Crimson Tide in the title game, that perhaps suggest a shift in the broader landscape.
and spread 'n' shred HQ Michigan sucking:
How are these memes working out so far?
Texas fans are livid that Mack Brown's handpicked talent couldn't manage a meaningful touchdown against UCLA:
What is the Texas offensive scheme? My answer- We have a spread that we pass out of 80% of the time, and an under-center formation we run out of 80% of the time. We use the spread 70 – 80% of the time against quality opposition. We call very few running plays for the QB- just a couple of called QB draws per game. We don’t run zone read or lead option, which were core plays for us the last several years. Our offense has an H-back that can block on running plays or be a receiving option on pass plays.
The proposed short term solution is to utilize "more zone reads and option runs" and use whichever quarterback has the best combination of running and throwing ability.
Florida fans were clawing their eyes out after managing just over 200 yards of total offense against Miami (Not That Miami) and just over 300 against Tennessee (Also Pretty Much Not That Tennessee) but found joy in the redzone in the form of one Trey Burton:
The freshman scored six touchdowns in Florida's 48-14 victory over Kentucky, including five rushing as a quarterback in the Wildcat formation. The feat broke Tebow's old record of five touchdowns against South Carolina in 2007. … On Wednesday, UF offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Burton's role as a quarterback in the Wildcat package likely will expand as the season progresses. Burton's role might be similar to the role Tebow played as a freshman, when he was a changeup to starter Chris Leak, who led the Gators to the BCS national title in 2006.
Alabama's grinding non-spread attack is sixth in total offense and just took out their most difficult competition to date by doing this with Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson:
Ingram took eight handoffs out of the wildcat, nine from the pistol, three from shotgun and four when the quarterback was under center. Richardson only took eight handoffs, with his two biggest gains, 53 and 10, out of shotgun.
For those counting, Mark Ingram took four of 24 snaps from a conventional I-form against a top ten foe on the road.
Finally, no one's laughing at half of Michigan's team now:
Also there is Cam Newton, though Auburn highlight technology has a decidedly Soviet feel to it. FWIW four weeks into the season (almost nothing), three of the top four offenses in the country are dyed-in-the-wool spreads that feature a ton of quarterback runs: Michigan, Oregon, and Nevada.
We now return you to your regular programming, and Gary Danielson to the alternate universe he spends six days a week in.
Watching non-spread teams is pretty boring to me, honestly. Even taking my fandom out of the equation, Michigan is close to, if not the, most exciting team to watch in football period.
I really, really disagree with this. The great thing about college football versus the NFL is the great variety of playing styles. I love that I can turn on Stanford and see old-school power football, then we come on, and I get to see the modern spread-n-shred running attack, then turn on a Mike Leach style offense and watch a team toss the ball around, then put on Navy and see their triple option. This variety makes each matchup different than the last, and is one of the best things about our sport.
That contrast in styles is one of the reasons I'm so geeked to see Stanford-Oregon this weekend, even though I don't really have a strong rooting interest either way.
I remember watching a Miami-NYJ game last season and being thrilled because Miami had busted out several different Wildcat formations AND had run a few zone read plays with Pat White. It was amazing because NFL teams never do stuff like that. Which is a shame, obviously.
with a higher and more standard floor for success. Fewer teams + more information = fewer opportunities to catch someone unprepared, so NFL teams don't stand to gain as much from adopting a scheme that isn't currently used. With the higher floor (there's no equivalent of a bowl game for a 6-6 team), adopting wrinkles doesn't promise as much of a payoff as it does in the college game, and given the generally conservative approach that GMs take, I think there is more perceived risk than reward. (See also: kicking vs. going for it, etc.)
That said, I completely agree. Both as a spectator and as a gamer (NCAA vs. Madden), I enjoy the variety in the college game more. It's interesting to watch a variety of offenses, not just to see how they work, but to see how they are stopped.
has a decidedly Soviet feel to it.
Auburn bloggers should definitely set Cam Newton highlights to Trololo.
- Develop a plan.
- Stick to the plan.
- If the plan doesn't work, get a new plan.
The problem is that this strategy only works at the exact right speed. If you are too slow to adapt your plan when there are problems, people become upset. If you abandon the plan too quickly, you cycle through coaches like oh-so-many Puffs Plus during allergy season.
So, does that mean I can yell "yeah, Denard, do the Heisman on that hoe" everytime dilithium is activated?
The gap between "can" and "should" is a chasm whose width varies from person to person. Let us redefine progress to mean that just because we can do a thing, it does not necessarily mean we must do that thing.
There is also a highly ignored gap between a strong belief and sarcasm. I now understand that some may lack the ever so coveted "sarcasm detector", so from now on, I'll make sure that I tag such categorized post as "/s" to not confuse those who are dificient in that area.
but Cam Newton has very Juice-esque ninja ball-fakes.
Do you think Terrelle Pryor looks at Denard and Cam Newton and wishes he had an offense that was tailored to his skills?
I'm so sick of his hype. His skills get hyped more than his production.
Tom Brady pass out of the shotgun like 70% of the time... with 4 wide most of the time? Seems to me that the spread works in the NFL too. It must be very dead.
I know that "spread" has a variety of different meanings, but does Mark Ingram taking snaps out of an I-formation (or any other similar "wildcat"-type package) constitute a version of the spread? Doesn't change the underlying point of Brian's post in any way, I'm just curious.
Is not a spread formation...
The point of that bit was Ingram took only four snaps of 24 from an I. Alabama devoting a third of its snaps to a running QB who isn't, you know, a QB, when it has a senior returning starter is a powerful statement that having a running QB is just plain good sense.
One could make a case that the spread is now even slowly creeping into the NFL. Not in the 'QB option' or 'zone read' style but closer to the Mike Leach "lol run wut?" way. I mean... New Orleans has approximately 95 receivers with receptions (or 7 with 5 or more catches through three weeks and 5 with TD receptions) in an offense that looks quite similar to the Purdue offense Brees raped the B10 with.
Peyton Manning has been running what looks a lot like a spread for years now.
we all know that Danielson is out of his gourd but what the hell are the rest of these writers thinking? Is this a Drew Sharpe "say something asinine and inflammatory just to get readesr" ploy?
I specifically saw Vick run the spread option read at least once last Sunday against the Jags. He's obviously the QB to run that offense if anyone in the NFL is going to do it, but the fact remains that it is definitely creeping up to the next level like you mention. In a way, that is inevitable as more and more kids coming out of college have run in that offense for 4 years with success. For example, assume that Denard keeps throwing the ball well, proving he's a QB over the next 3 years and that can play at the next level, an NFL team would be hard-pressed to draft him and then put him in an entirely different offensive scheme. See Vince Young for a perfect example of that.
Yeah, the Eagles have run a few Zone-Reads, as have the Titans. It might have been preseason but I saw the Titans run a GT style triple option (Dive look to the fullback, then option with Young/Johnson)
I don't know that these types of offenses will ever become mainstream NFL schemes, but I do believe that "Schemes" are becoming more and more blurred. And while the Zone Read won't work 50 times in an NFL game, it might work great 5 times. I think we'll see more and more concepts from different offenses installed all over the league
I don't know if I entirely agree with "schemes" becoming more and more blurred but it seems like there's a niche being carved out in the NFL that lies somewhere between the "trick play" and "official playbook" that a lot of these concepts (zone read, wild cat, jet sweep, etc) are starting to fit into. Its interesting because I've become less and less of an NFL fan because of their ultra-conservative game plans and frankly, boring, offensive systems. I would be 'all in' the NFL again if this ingenuity continues. I echo the sentiments above that the beauty of college football is firstly the dynamic offenses that you can see game to game and how different they can be but also the "playground" style of some of these systems. And what I mean by that is: find the best athlete on your team and do everything you can to get him the ball in whatever way possible. I feel the NFL only makes a half-hearted effort at these sorts of things and spends too much time "protecting investments" or trying to "not lose" because they don't want to get the hook.
Credibility surrounding his analysis is therefore suspect at best.
Spread's not dead, Zed's dead.
Gary Danielson? Do the Heisman on that Ho'
"Who's motorcycle is this?"
"It's not a motorcycle baby, it's a chopper."
+1 on the Pulp Fiction reset
"What happened to my Honda?"
"I'm sorry baby I had to crash that Honda."
Football is all about blocking, tackling, & talent. If you've got those 3 things, you are going to win.
So go ahead and let everyone abandon the spread. Better for us. Any scout team can simulate I formation iso, No scout team in the country can simulate RichRod's O with the athletes that are on our roster. That puts a lot of pressure on teams who will have to put in a special game plan once a year to deal with RichRod's unique offense.
Even though blocking, tackling, and talent reign supreme, the scheme can tilt the balance. There is not a DC in the Big Ten who is looking forward to playing us right now. And if more teams abandon the spread, we will be even more effective and have less competition on the recruiting trail for the players RR needs.
Denardo on the pre-season Big Ten preview show said that the spread is dying because teams are figuring out how to defend it. I'm thinking, great, that will leave just a few of us running it so teams will recruit to defend pro-style offenses and will have the same problem trying to adjust to our spread as they did the spreads of 5-10 years ago.
how the only people I've seen who believe the spread is dead are people who are out of the game.
Not that either Danielson or DiNardo were offensive geniuses in the first place ... Danielson was a good QB at Purdue, but that was almost 40 years ago. Of course he wouldn't have seen spread offenses. DiNardo spent his career unsuccessfully trying to resurrect struggling programs; if anything, he should be embracing the spread, not criticizing it.
And yet there are still die hard UM fans who want Rich Rod to fail so we can get a real "Michigan Man". Puh-leaze. Watching Denard should make us all giggle like a school girl.
Chris from Smart Football has a good article up on Doc Sat; this was posted yesterday but was apparently an early draft and has been updated today. It's much fuller now.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds....
That's all I Have.
philosophers, and divines (Emerson)". I think Danielson would think of himself as the latter
The pro-style offense still works (Stanford, Alabama), but only if executed well with top talent, which is why they work in the NFL. The spread has a schematic advantage that exploits the lapses in college defenses. NFL defenses are much better, so the spread won't work as well.
4 packages of shredded opponents
1 can of whoop ass
dash of epic proportions
mix ingredients in an untied shoe - shake 1000 times
serve with toasted d-backs for dipping!
Is it me, or does Denard take every play to the house when the cameras start on his shoe tops? It happens in the highlight video above, and in the Western game last year.