I watched many college football games this year and decided to write a comparative article that ask the fans which is better for college football; an Exciting, Unexpected, Speed, Down the field offense or the 3 yards in cloud of dust, smack you in the mouth defense, just win baby strategy. Most will think that teams that our Title contenders should have a little of both. It is my humble assessment that besides some of the USC teams in the recent past, that teams in general are one or the other. My reasoning is that a team practices like they play. Therefore a Team that deploys Offenses designed to strike fast and down the field promotes a defense that protects against just that. A team that promotes a ball control offense requires a team with a defense that is geared to take advantage of mistakes and cause many of them early and often and shorten the field of play for a score.
I personally believe the later has produced many a national champion; however I love to watch the speed and the surprise occur at any time. It’s just a great way to keep you interested in the game and not knowing when the mistake will be invoked by an offense and a big play occurs. Hello, Wake up everyone we're back in it feeling!
Let’s review a few examples from an Auburn Season that is in the middle of changing from the Hard Nose 3 yards in a cloud of dust to an Offense dictating defensive mistakes that manifest themselves in down the field big plays.
1. Auburn vs. West Virginia: Once the Auburn Running game was going with edge based running, late scores were made with passing to one on one covered receivers, as more defensive players were committed to the line of scrimmage.
2. Auburn vs. Miss St: Auburn continues to Run Ben Tate off Tackle Left and Right, with a good mix of McCaleb pushing the edge. All of sudden the speed and hard hitting Tate hit the right side, and a slowed Line Backing core missed a tackle. The next event shown on TV was all the bad angles the defense had due to Tate’s Speed.
3. Auburn vs. Arkansas: Auburn was trying to come back when Tate breaks the big run of right edge once the passing game made a few completions. Auburn lost this game, but I was hoping for a comeback the entire game because of the big play potential.
4. Iron Bowl: Darvin Adams 72 yards for a score. When Alabama was just picking away at the clock and time and the home fans were getting restless. Ultimately Alabama won, but for most of the 4th QTR Auburn Fans were on the edge of their seats hoping for another strike.
In both winning and losing efforts, Fans were entertained regardless of the team supported. I have watched many of the games this year and always wanted to see a win, but I have been thoroughly entertained with the down the field speed game that is deployed by so many college teams today. I also think that when a team gets a perfect mix of aggressive strong defense and the down the field offense, the ingredients are there for a National Championship Run. However there are those that just want to see wins. It’s a proven factor that 3 yards and a cloud of dust with the right personnel and smothering defense will win championships. I contest the fans and potential recruits are drawn and yearn for a more entertaining product which will challenge the status quo and add to the college football ever changing exciting environment.