College football was on an offensive tear this year with a number of spread offenses taking over games and pulling off upsets. The top spread attacks in the country are scary good, and this will detail the top 10 spread attacks and how they stack up against one another.
The spread offense has become the leading formation for a number of teams in the college game. The top offenses in the country all run some variation of the spread showing the versatility and effectiveness of the attack.
Different approaches are used by virtually every team on the list, but the numbers show that no matter the approach the spread will be successful. Here is the power ranking for the 10 best spread offensive sets in the college game.
*Stats provided by CFBStats.com
No. 15 Nationally
Passing Yards: 3,063
Rushing Yards: 3,252
Yards per Game: 485.8
Northern Illinois may not play in a major conference, but it puts up numbers. The Huskies run a version of the spread-option that relies on Jordan Lynch’s running ability to drive the offense.
The Huskies will finish the season in with a BCS game against Florida State, an honor that would not have been achievable without the spread offense.
The rise of mid-major teams has been assisted by the spread offense with teams like Northern Illinois taking the spread to a new level.
No. 9 Nationally
Passing Yards: 3,830
Rushing Yards: 2,390
Yards per Game: 518.3
The Clemson Tigers have consistently been one of the best offensive teams in college football for the past two seasons.
The offense is guided by Chad Morris who has quickly become one of the leading names in coaching searches across the country thanks to his Clemson offensive scheme.
The Tigers have been balanced in the past, but this year they relied heavily on the ability of Tajh Boyd to get the ball downfield to key receivers.
Every year the scheme changes to match personnel—another benefit of the spread scheme.
No. 5 Offense Nationally
Passing Yards: 4,001
Rushing Yards: 2,586
Yards per Game: 548.9
The Oklahoma State Cowboys were expected to drop off a bit offensively with the loss of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon this past year, but the Cowboys continue to thrive.
Oklahoma State has put together a very efficient year earning 7.01 yards per play, leading the country in that category.
This offense has been a leader in the Big 12 as long as Mike Gundy is leading the team.
No. 11 Offense Nationally
Passing Yards: 4,101
Rushing Yards: 1,980
Yards per Game: 506.8
The Oklahoma Sooners have become one of the most dangerous offenses in the country under the leadership of Bob Stoops.
The Sooners have put together a lot of success on offense, and this season was no different. Oklahoma pushed through the Big 12 putting up a lot of points and yards consistently.
Landry Jones put together a very good year for the Sooners leading Oklahoma to the No. 5 passing attack in the country. Even against stiff competition, the Sooners found production this fall, averaging over 500 yards a game.
No. 16 Offense Nationally
Passing Yards: 3,501
Rushing Yards: 2,326
Yards per Game: 485.6
The Tar Heels brought in Larry Fedora from Southern Miss this year to guide the program, and with Fedora came a version of the hurry-up, no-huddle spread offense.
He took the North Carolina offense to new heights and helped put sophomore running back Giovanni Bernard on the All-American list.
The Tar Heels found ways to produce consistently through the air, but the ground attack was the most impressive piece of the North Carolina offense this year.
No. 2 Offense Nationally
Passing Yards: 4,209
Rushing Yards: 2,726
Yards per Game: 577.9
Louisiana Tech ran a pass-heavy offense this season and saw Colby Cameron jump into the national discussion by midseason.
The passing attack of the Bulldogs was virtually unstoppable, and it was almost enough to knock off SEC heavyweight Texas A&M.
Sonny Dykes took his offense to Cal with him after the season finished, but the Bulldogs will likely continue to employ the offense that took them to the national stage for a season.
No. 8 Offense Nationally
Passing Yards: 4,088
Rushing Yards: 2,134
Yards per Game: 518.5
The Mountaineers jumped into the national title discussion early this year thanks to the Dana Holgorsen led spread attack that has been in Morgantown for two seasons.
Geno Smith was one of the most efficient passers in the country this season, guiding the West Virginia attack past every defense in the Big 12. The Mountaineers were terrible on defense, but the offense was able to get them to seven wins and bowl eligibility.
This was the most explosive offense in the country this year despite the team’s inability to pull out wins to end the year.
No. 3 Offense Nationally
Passing Yards: 3,807
Rushing Yards: 2,821
Yards per Game: 552.3
The Aggies were the most notable offense of the 2012 season with Johnny Manziel guiding Texas A&M through its first year in the SEC.
Manziel had an amazing season, finishing with the Heisman and helping the Aggies earn 10 wins in their inaugural season in the toughest conference in the country.
The offense was so impressive that offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury is now the head coach at Texas Tech. It was a solid year of running, throwing and catching in College Station.
No. 7 Offense Nationally
Passing Yards: 3,879
Rushing Yards: 2,961
Yards per Game: 526.2
Ka’Deem Carey and Matt Scott were the most underappreciated offensive tandem of the 2012 football season.
Carey received first team All-American honors by the AP which shows the country finally took notice of the nation’s leading rusher, but Scott finished his senior season as a relative unknown on the national stage.
Rich Rodriguez appeared in Arizona and brought his spread-option attack, putting together one of the country’s best offenses in the process.
No. 1 Offense Nationally
Passing Yards: 4,239
Rushing Yards: 2,706
Yards per Game: 578.8
The Baylor Bears changed the national title race in late November when they thumped Kansas State, but the national impact of the Baylor offense was much bigger than just one game.
Nick Florence was one of the best quarterbacks in the country this year, but the 7-5 record kept him out of any award discussion throughout the year.
Art Briles has done great things at Baylor, fielding a Heisman winner a year ago and this year putting together the No. 1 offense in the country.
Baylor has the talent to reload and storm the country again next season. Don’t be surprised if the Bears make a run at the Big 12 in the next few years.