College Football: Top 10 Offenses Heading into Week 10

Jeff Bell@@JrayBellCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2012

College Football: Top 10 Offenses Heading into Week 10

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    College Football has become all about offense.

    Without an elite unit, a team can expect to struggle throughout the season.

    Of course, there are always exceptions. Notre Dame is sitting pretty at 8-0 this season despite having plenty of growing pains on offense. LSU, who rely heavily on their talent-laden D, has struggled almost every week to move the ball.

    But in general, the elite teams have dynamic offenses that can light up the scoreboard against anyone.

    This list takes into account statistics as well as the teams that offense has faced. So teams like Toledo, Fresno State and Ball State were left out despite having put up a lot of points thus far. The simple fact is they haven't played enough challenging defenses on a consistent basis to merit a spot in the top 10.

    But no one has made this list on talent alone. USC has all the talent in the world, but they haven't lived up to expectations.

    Other teams that were considered: North Carolina, Nevada, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma State.

    Here are the top 10 College Football offenses as we head into the home stretch of the season.

10. West Virginia

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    If only this list was made three weeks ago, then the Mountaineers might occupy the top slot.

    But despite their shortcomings against Texas Tech and Kansas State, this is still a very dangerous unit.

    Geno Smith has 26 touchdowns with just two interceptions. Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin have nearly 1,600 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns combined.

    They average over 40 points and you can expect them to come out hot after a bye week.

    Coach Dana Holgorsen has a brilliant offensive mind, and if your lasting impression is their effort against the Wildcats, look out.

9. Louisiana Tech

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    Louisiana Tech is the lone non-BCS team to make the list, and despite their schedule, it's hard to omit a team averaging over 50 points a game.

    Their only loss of the season came against Texas A&M, and they still scored 57 points in the defeat.

    They are led by quarterback Colby Cameron, who has something in common with Alabama QB A.J. McCarron—Cameron hasn't thrown an interception yet this year.

    But he has thrown for nearly 2,600 yards and 21 touchdowns.

    The receiving corps is led by Quinton Patton, while Kenneth Dixon gets things going on the ground. And by "gets things going," I mean he has over 800 yards and 17 touchdowns.

    Louisiana Tech won't get another chance to face a BCS conference team this season, but if they happened to find themselves matched up against one in their bowl game, you'll want to tune in.


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    Yes, the same team that scored zero points in their rivalry game with USC last season now finds themselves among the best offensive teams in College Football.

    That's mostly due to dual-threat quarterback Brett Hundley. The redshirt freshman sensation has 18 passing touchdowns on the year to go along with five on the ground.

    And speaking of their ground game, Johnathan Franklin leads the Pac-12 Conference with 1,042 yards rushing.

    Shaquelle Evans has been their best weapon in the passing game with almost 500 yards receiving.

    The scary part is that the Bruins are a young team. Under first-year head coach Jim Mora Jr., they may find themselves a lot higher on this list next season.

7. Clemson

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    Clemson is on this list because of the numerous offensive weapons they showcase each weekend.

    Start with Tajh Boyd, who's completing nearly 70 percent of his passes to go along with 20 TDs through the air. Andre Ellington is a breakaway threat in the ground game, and has 754 yards rushing at over five yards a carry.

    But the biggest stars are in the passing game. Sammy Watkins isn't having the same type of season as last year, but he's still one of the most athletic, versatile receivers in the game. His counterpart, DeAndre Hopkins, has 909 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns.

    The only problem with the Tigers' offense is consistency. Just look at the game with Florida State where they failed to put together scoring drives late in the game.

    Nonetheless, Clemson is a team to be reckoned with, and their offense is the reason.

6. Texas A&M

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    If you're talking about the Aggies' offense, the conversation begins and ends with Johnny Manziel.

    Manziel is perhaps the best freshman in the country. He's thrown for over 2,200 yards and has 16 touchdown passes.

    But he's also leading the SEC in rushing touchdowns. That may not sound unusual after Cam Newton and Tim Tebow left their marks in the ground game, but for a true freshman, it's remarkable.

    Their only losses came to Florida and LSU, and both contests were close until the very end. The Aggies have scored over 55 points on four separate occasions and average 45.5 a game despite low outputs against the Gators and Tigers.

    Under Manziel, the team has been terrific on offense. But they're only going to get better, which is a scary sign for the rest of the SEC.


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    It's normally the defense that gets all the attention, but this year's Alabama team can score points. And score points they have.

    The Crimson Tide have put up over 33 points in every game this season. QB A.J. McCarron has yet to throw a pick and Amari Cooper has been a revelation in the passing game.

    But their identity is still in the ground game, where Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon have combined for 1,245 yards and 14 touchdowns.

    By the way, if you haven't seen Yeldon play, you should. He's fast becoming one of the best backs in the SEC. Don't be surprised to see him on Heisman lists over the next few years.

    It's easy to overlook the offense when the defense is giving up less than 10 points a game, but Alabama is the best team in the country because they are elite on both sides of the ball.

4. Arizona

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    The Wildcats said goodbye to Mike Stoops and took a gamble by hiring spread-guru Rich Rodriguez. It's fair to say that gamble has paid off.

    Rodriguez inherited quarterback Matt Scott, who seems born to run the spread offense. Scott has 20 touchdown passes but has also rushed for 365 yards.

    Receivers Austin Hill and Dan Buckner form a lethal tandem and running back Kadeem Carey is without a doubt the best tailback you probably haven't seen.

    Doubters point to their game against Oregon where they were held scoreless, but they had six opportunities in the red zone and it's safe to say that Matt Scott hasn't played a worse game in his career.

    They are coming off an upset win over USC, and opponents remaining on their schedule better watch out, because the offense is just heating up.

3. Kansas State

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    Kansas State has surprised everybody thus far by winning each of their first eight games. They've put up over 50 points in five of those victories.

    They are led by QB Collin Klein, who has become a household name at this point in the season. Klein has rushed for over 600 yards and 16 touchdowns, which isn't a misprint.

    But he's not a one-trick pony either, and the proof is in the fact that he's thrown just two picks and completed over 70 percent of his passes.

    The ground game is led by John Hubert, an underrated back considering all the attention that Klein receives.

    The Wildcats still have difficult games left on their schedule, but if the offense continues to flourish, an undefeated season is certainly attainable.

2. Florida State

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    The Seminoles have been tremendous on offense this season, and the name of their game is balance.

    While E.J. Manuel is having a great year throwing the ball, the ground game has been just as effective.

    Consider the fact that FSU scored just 16 points in their loss to North Carolina State, yet they are still outscoring opponents by over 32 points per game.

    They are averaging almost 45 points a contest, and thanks to an incredible defense, they haven't really been tested much aside from their game against the Wolfpack.

    This isn't the most talented team on offense, nor do they have the most offensive weapons, but they are putting up dizzying numbers, and if you throw out the poor effort against NC State, the Seminoles have been nearly unstoppable.

1. Oregon

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    The Ducks owning the top spot on this list should come as no surprise.

    They've scored 30 or more points in 21 straight games. They're averaging an FBS-best 53.4 points per game.

    They feature running backs Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas, both of whom are threats to score every time they touch the ball.

    Redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota has been dazzling in his first season at quarterback, and Colt Lyerla gives them toughness at tight end.

    The Ducks lowest output of the season came against Fresno State, where they scored 42. Of course, they had 35 at halftime of that game. Against Arizona State, they put up a measly 43. Then again, they reached that total just four minutes into the second quarter.

    The Ducks are the best offensive team in the country right now, and it isn't even close. Until someone can slow this team down, the Ducks will remain at the top of the list.