The triple option is an extremely rare bird in college football. It's practically non-existent in the power conferences. It just isn't glitzy.
But it's making a comeback in Atlanta.
Georgia Tech's been laughing all the way to the bank the past two seasons with the triple option, thanks to coach Paul Johnson.
Johnson came from Navy, and pulled off one of the greatest coaching jobs of the last decade in 2008, transforming Georgia Tech's offense and doing it with players he didn't recruit.
A team that had been mired in mediocrity under perennial underachiever Chan Gailey won nine games in Johnson's first season, including a much-needed win over rival Georgia. A year later the Jackets won their first ACC Championship since the 1990s and ran teams ragged all season.
Give credit to tough quarterback Josh Nesbitt for making the difficult transition into an offense that's not ideal for sexy passing numbers. When executed effectively, it takes two defensive players out of the equation who have to deal with the pitch and the read. As the quarterback lines up under center with backs to his left and right and decides whether to run, pitch, or throw.
Nesbitt became a magician at it last season and took pretty good beatings every game. He rushed for 18 touchdowns and had at least one 50-plus-yard passing play in 10 regular season games.
Sensational running backs Jonathan Dwyer and Anthony Allen also put up huge numbers as Tech went to the Orange Bowl and compiled an 11-3 record, its best since the George O'Leary era.
Of course, it fizzles now and then. Tech has been embarrassed in both of its bowl games under Johnson, putting up a combined 17 points. Dwyer has also gone on to the NFL and will be sorely missed.
But Tech's numbers speak for themselves in 2009: 295.4 rushing yards a game and an impressive time-of-possession average of 33:49 that left defenses gasping for air. That speaks to not only Tech's great athletes but solid conditioning by the offensive line as well.