Sports Illustrated - The spread

Submitted by IBleedMaizeNBlue on August 10th, 2008 at 1:20 PM

If anybody has read the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated, you'll see that the spread is a main topic of interest for obvious reasons. The most exciting thing that can be gleaned from the article? Nobody knows how to stop it, though everybody is trying. They do offer two common suggestions from exasperated defensive coordinators: more athletic defensive linemen and linebackers and surer tackling. The good news is that that's the best they can come up with, but they're working feverishly to thwart the spread read-option attack.

It appears that the best way to combat the spread starts at the recruiting level. This is very encouraging news because, simply put, we play in the Big Ten. Though the team down south is slowly moving towards a more Florida-esque hybrid offense, the general trend in the successful Big Ten offenses starts with establishing a power running, smash mouth football-type running attack. Power, power, power. The best way to stop that type of offense, as noted in the Conservative Revolution post, is with beefier linemen and linebackers. This poses a conundrum indeed for any Big Ten team that Michigan faces: recruit for speed or power? Since most teams don't have a Mike Barwis, it's difficult to get both.

When we finally recruit the personnel we need, and get them integrated, we'll be playing like speedy Florida (with many of their home-grown players) against the ill-equipped likes of OSU, Wisconsin, Illinois, etc... Hopefully everybody in the Big Ten will attempt to adapt their play accordingly, and the Big Ten as a whole will improve and enjoy a return to unprecedented prominence as we once had.

Comments

Farnn

August 10th, 2008 at 5:40 PM ^

Although its image is of a power running conference, there are a lot of teams in the Big Ten who run some form of the spread option now. OSU and Wisconsin are the big power running schools, while many of the lesser schools are using an option type offense since they lack the personnel of the top tier schools.

dex

August 11th, 2008 at 11:50 AM ^

This poses a conundrum indeed for any Big Ten team that Michigan faces: recruit for speed or power? Since most teams don't have a Mike Barwis, it's difficult to get both.

You better call OSU, LSU, UF, Auburn, USC, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and a host of other top flight programs and tell them that they don't really have speed and power.

Mike Barwis is re-inventing Michigan. Michigan was way behind other schools in training. Mike Barwis is NOT re-inventing college football conditioning. Mike Barwis is bringing the conditioning and strength programs that are already in use at other schools to Michigan. Why is it so tough for people to understand this?

AceCubbie

August 11th, 2008 at 8:36 PM ^

In the aggregate, things will ebb too far in the direction of speed, and a power/strength dynasty will emerge, be wildly successfull, and things will flow back the other way.