Power Ranking College Football's Top 10 Offenses
Through six weeks of play, it's becoming more and more clear who the best offenses in college football are.
Some have the potency to light up the scoreboard again and again. On the other hand, some are capable of killing the clock while moving the ball down the field with ease.
But the question is: Who currently has the best offense of them all?
Texas A&M made a strong case for the honor after carving up Alabama for 42 points a few weeks ago. Then there's Washington, who seemed to have no problem moving the ball against a tough Stanford defense.
Even LSU is surprisingly putting up points in bunches.
But enough teasing; here are the 10 offenses that are setting the bar for the rest of the country.
Total Offense: 488.7 YPG (23)
Scoring: 45.5 PPG (9)
Passing: 291.5 YPG (27)
Rushing: 197.2 (43)
The hiring of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has worked wonders in Baton Rouge this season.
Last year, the Tigers finished No. 58 in scoring (29.8 PPG), No. 87 in total offense (374.2 YPG), No. 94 in passing (200.5 YPG) and No. 51 in rushing (173.7 YPG). Not to mention, the team struggled to put up points, only topping 40 points four times in 13 games.
This season, LSU has surpassed that mark four times already. Furthermore, the team has tallied 400-plus yards in all six of its games for the first time in school history.
Surprisingly, Cameron has done it all with pretty much the same talent.
Thus far, quarterback Zach Mettenberger has thrown for 1,738 yards and 15 touchdowns (2 INT) on 68.2-percent passing for a QB rating of 190.1. In comparison, he racked up just 2,609 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 58.8-percent passing for a QB rating of 128.3 in 2012.
Impressively, after failing to throw for 300 yards in any game last year, the senior has accomplished the feat in two straight games now.
Mettenberger has been helped by junior wide receivers Odell Beckham (35 REC, 686 YDS, 6 TD) and Jarvis Landry (42 REC, 616 YDS, 7 TD). Both rank in the Top 10 nationally in receiving yards.
For a team that relied on its defense to win ballgames, it's a nice change of pace to have an offense that can put up points in bunches.
Total Offense: 543.8 YPG (7)
Scoring: 46.6 PPG (8)
Passing: 285.0 YPG (32)
Rushing: 258.8 YPG (15)
The Tigers may be the biggest surprise in the SEC. Other than Alabama, no other team is currently undefeated in the conference.
A surprisingly good offense can be credited for that.
Quarterback James Franklin has led the charge, putting in work with both his arm and his legs. He's combined for 1,685 total yards and 15 touchdowns. Remember, Franklin is a guy who rushed for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns while also throwing for 21 in his sophomore season.
In the backfield, the trio of Russell Hansbrough (48 CAR, 379 YDS, 3 TD), Henry Josey (54 CAR, 307 YDS, 6 TD) and Marcus Murphy (35 CAR, 293 YDS, 4 TD) lead the way.
With the ability to beat you both through the air and on the ground, Missouri's offense will be a tough matchup for any defense.
The unit should get its first test when the team faces Georgia this weekend.
Total Offense: 530.0 YPG (11)
Scoring: 39.8 PPG (23)
Passing: 315.2 YPG (17)
Rushing: 214.8 YPG (27)
A lot of folks are talking about the rise of offenses in the SEC. More so, proficient quarterbacks are taking precedence over stifling defenses in the conference.
The Bulldogs are one of those teams following that mold.
Although the team has faced three Top 10 opponents thus far, it hasn't stopped Georgia from putting up 34 points or more in each of its first five games. That includes 35 against Clemson, 41 against South Carolina and 44 against LSU.
Strong play from quarterback Aaron Murray and running back Todd Gurley has made it all possible.
Murray has been calm, cool and collected under center, racking up 1,534 yards and 14 touchdowns (3 INT) through the air. He's also added 73 yards and another three scores with his legs.
But most impressively, the senior has the highest QBR (96.5) among all FBS quarterbacks when trailing.
On the other hand, Gurley has been a workhorse, rushing for 450 yards and four touchdowns in four games. He’s also caught five passes for 42 yards and another score.
Driven by this duo, the Bulldogs shouldn't be expected to slow down anytime soon.
Total Offense: 561.8 YPG (4)
Scoring: 48.0 PPG (5)
Passing: 302.0 YPG (21)
Rushing: 259.8 YPG (14)
The Bruins are one of only three undefeated Pac-12 teams right now. Even better, they are the only team without a loss in the South division.
Thus far, an offense that has scored close to 50 points per game has carried UCLA to 4-0.
Quarterback Brett Hundley is easily the star of the show, totaling 1,301 yards and 12 touchdowns. The sophomore has been just as effective on the ground as he has been through the air.
It’s a deadly combination that has paid dividends for the Bruins.
Running back Jordon James (74 CAR, 463 YDS, 5 TD) has also been a force in the backfield. The junior had rushed for at least 100 yards and a touchdown in each of UCLA’s first three games before being injured during the team’s 34-27 victory over Utah.
Without James, the offense will slow down a bit.
However, with a player like Hundley under center, the Bruins will still put up numbers.
6. Florida State
Total Offense: 549.0 YPG (6)
Scoring: 53.6 PPG (3)
Passing: 320.8 YPG (15)
Rushing: 228.2 YPG (19)
Don't look now, but the Seminoles have forced their way into the BCS-title conversation. With a win over No. 3 Clemson on Oct. 19, the team will all but surely be considered a favorite if it remains unbeaten.
The offense has been the driving force behind Florida State this year.
With the loss of quarterback EJ Manuel, many expected the team’s offense to sputter a bit. Instead, redshirt freshman Jameis Winston has picked up where Manuel has left off. Arguably, he's played even better.
Through five games, Winston has thrown for 1,441 yards, 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions on 73.2-percent passing. He's also given us a glimpse of his mobility, rushing for 135 yards and two more scores on the ground.
But Winston’s, and the Seminoles’, most impressive performance came last weekend against No. 25 Maryland.
The Terrapins were 4-0 and boasted a defense that ranked in the top 10 in several categories. It was looking like it was going to be a close game and a rough day for a Florida State offense facing its first real test.
Instead, Winston and the offense piled up a season-high 63 points and 614 yards of total offense in a shutout victory.
Now, that's getting it done.
Total Offense: 518.2 YPG (14)
Scoring: 44.2 PPG (13)
Passing: 343.6 YPG (11)
Rushing: 174.6 YPG (66)
Quarterback Tajh Boyd has the Tigers rolling towards a berth in the BCS title game. Furthermore, the senior is making a strong case as to why he's deserving of the Heisman Trophy.
It all makes Clemson one of the most difficult offenses to contain.
Against Syracuse last weekend, Boyd took his talents to another level. On his way to throwing for a school-record 455 yards and a career-high five touchdowns, Boyd also became the first FBS player with at least 350 yards and four touchdown passes in the first half of a conference game since 2009.
On the year, he has thrown for a whopping 1,449 yards with 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Boyd has also displayed some mobility, rushing for 154 yards and another four scores on the ground.
But what makes the Tigers offense deadly is the big-play capability.
Over his career, Boyd has thrown for 15 touchdowns of 50 yards or more. That's the most of any FBS quarterback since the start of 2011.
While the running game may not be a threat, Boyd has proved to be too much for opposing defenses to handle.
Total Offense: 557.0 YPG (5)
Scoring: 37.4 PPG (35)
Passing: 298.2 YPG (23)
Rushing: 258.8 YPG (15)
Sure, the Huskies came up just short in their bid to repeat last season's upset over Stanford, falling 31-28 to the Cardinal. However, in the process, the team showed it has one heck of an offense.
Moving the ball with as much ease as Washington did against one of the nation's strongest defenses is no easy task.
Running back Bishop Sankey (131 CAR, 732 YDS, 7 TD) had quite the night, rushing for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. It came against a front line that ranked among the Top 10 in stopping the run, limiting opposing running backs to just a little over 100 yards per game.
But the most impressive aspect this season has to be quarterback Keith Price.
Through five games, the senior has been quite proficient, throwing for 1,394 yards, 11 touchdowns (3 INT) on 71.3-percent passing for a QB rating of 163.4. Against Stanford, he took advantage of a weak secondary, throwing for a season-high 350 yards and a pair of touchdown tosses.
This team may not light up the scoreboard, but it certainly moves the ball unlike any other.
Washington will be a tough out for any opponent in the Pac-12.
Total Offense: 630.4 YPG (2)
Scoring: 59.2 PPG (2)
Passing: 294.6 YPG (24)
Rushing: 335.8 YPG (3)
The Ducks haven't sweated once through the first five weeks of the season. The average score of the team's games has been 59.2-11.8.
So, it comes as no surprise that Oregon finds its offense near the top of this list.
With a 57-16 victory over Colorado last weekend, the team has now scored 55 or more points in five straight games. That's currently tied for the second-longest single-season streak in FBS history behind Oklahoma's six in 2008.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota is a large reason for that surge.
On the year, the sophomore has thrown for 1,358 yards and 14 touchdowns (0 INT) on 56.7-percent passing. He's also rushed for 338 yards on 28 carries (12.1 YPC) and another seven scores.
Mariota's dual-threat capability, as well as his smart decision making—he's gone a school-record 202 pass attempts without an interception—is a large reason why he tops ESPN’s Heisman Watch.
The rushing attack is also powered by star running back De’Anthony Thomas (42 CAR, 338 YDS, 6 TD), who has been phenomenal in just three games.
Only a weak schedule prevents the Ducks from being higher in these rankings.
2. Texas A&M
Total Offense: 586.4 YPG (3)
Scoring: 49.2 PPG (4)
Passing: 365.0 YPG (6)
Rushing: 221.4 YPG (21)
As long as quarterback Johnny Manziel is under center, the Aggies have a shot to win every game they play. He's just that good.
Through five games, the team has proved exactly that.
Texas A&M has scored at least 42 points in every single game thus far. Furthermore, the team has racked up no less than 523 yards of total offense in four straight games.
That includes total and utter domination of Alabama’s defense.
Not only did the Aggies put up 42 points on last season's No. 1 overall defense, but they also gashed the unit for 628 yards, scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone.
It marked the most points allowed by the Tide in a win in school history.
On the season, Manziel has been dominant through the air, throwing for 1,489 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions on 71.4-percent passing. However, his bread and butter remains his rushing ability (48 CAR, 314 YDS, 3 TD).
With wide receiver Mike Evans (28 REC, 691 YDS, 5 TD) to throw to, Manziel is a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators to game-plan against.
Total Offense: 779.5 YPG (1)
Scoring: 70.5 PPG (1)
Passing: 432.3 YPG (1)
Rushing: 347.3 YPG (2)
The Bears may have yet to play a defense that is even remotely respectable. However, that doesn't take away from how good the team's offense has been.
Just take a look at some of the feats the unit has already accomplished.
By putting up 73 points against West Virginia last weekend, Baylor became the first team to score at least 70 points in three straight games since LSU in 1930. Not only that, but the Bears' 864 yards of total offense also broke a single-game Big 12 record and are the most by any FBS team in 10 seasons. Furthermore, Baylor has six quarters with at least 28 points—no other FBS team has more than two.
In fact, the team is the only one in the nation that hasn't gone three-and-out.
The Bears have quarterback Bryce Petty (72.8 CMP%, 1,348 YDS, 10 TD, 1 INT, 229.6 rating) and running back Lache Seastrunk (53 CAR, 589 YDS, 8 TD) to thank for that.
Petty has been phenomenal through the air, rarely throwing a bad pass. He's had no trouble finding his receivers and has even found the end zone three times on the ground. Not surprisingly, Petty's rating leads the entire nation.
On the other hand, Seastrunk has been completely dominant on the ground. He averages 147.3 yards per game and has rushed for over 100 yards in eight straight games—the longest active streak in the FBS.
With those two on point, it'll be tough to slow down this Baylor offense.
All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of ESPN.com.
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