There is an interesting article over at Grantland on college football offenses. (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6948865/speed-chess) The author suggests that in the NFL, most teams focus on confusing the opposition, and essentially play the same way, because of the extremely high level of athletic ability across the board. However, at the college ranks, particularly as you go to lower levels, there is a huge level of diversity and creativity.
I still am pondering how this applies to Michigan, and some of the angst currently found on the board (and in our fearless leader) over whether to play over center or out of the shotgun. I'm inclinded to think, after reading this, that MIchigan is heading in the right direction. In order to consistently win at the highest levels, against stout and athletic defenses, gimmicry will only get you so far. With a spread and speed offense, against lower level teams (think non-conference and lower tier Big 10 teams in 2010) you can either blow them away or at least compete. Against high level defenses, things fall apart.
In the article, this year's Oregon-LSU game is analyzed as an example. Oregon has been able to shred mediocre to good defenses, and overrun them. But against a solid and great defense like LSU, their advantage is completely negated.
As I apply this to UofM, I am beginning to think that even apart from our turrible defense, our previous offense would only go so far. In other words, we could have had an excellent defense, but our offense would grind to a halt against Ohio and LSU and the like. If this is true, Michigan's current offense will not overwhelm and overrun weaker teams on the schedule the same way they did last year, but will have a better chance against the stronger teams (MSU, Nebraska, Ohio) we face this year. If Mattison and team health and the emergence of BWC all coalesce, we may have a better chance to compete than previously thought.
I'd be interested to hear from better football minds on both the article and how you see it applying to Michigan.