One of the oldest offensive formations is almost never seen today.
The single-wing formation was employed by most teams during the first half-century of college football. It was developed (or at least first widely used) by Glenn “Pop” Warner while he was the head coach for Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
The formation utilized the first long snap from center to either a fullback, who lined up slightly to the strong side of center, or a tailback, who lined up slightly to the weak side and slightly further back in the formation.
The quarterback in this formation was primarily used as a blocker. He lined up to the strong side of the fullback, directly behind the right tackle.
A fourth back, the wingback, lined up to the right and slightly behind the right offensive end. The line itself also was completely unbalanced by today's standards. From left to right, the formation consisted of an end, guard, center, guard, tackle, tackle and end.
Wide, sweeping run plays were popularized with this formation, and players like Jim Thorpe rose to greatness with the ability to run, throw and catch the ball (as the forward pass was a recent addition to the game).
The single-wing formation also widely employed cutback plays, the genesis of today's reverse and misdirection run plays.
While it would take a coach with a great deal of courage and chutzpah—not to mention a solid grasp of job security—to attempt this formation, its basic formation is recognizable in a few of the modern-day Wildcat formations.
Because of its illustrious history and role in shaping the game we all love today, we're naming the single-wing formation as the top obsolete formation we want to see make a comeback.