There is a new fad taking over college football: the spread offense. It abandons the conventional run-first strategy in favor of a spread-and-shred pass offense. In the spread, every offensive play is run out of the shotgun.
Nearly all college football teams have adopted this approach, leaving more hesitant coaches, like Alabama's Nick Saban, to stick with smash-mouth football.
Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide may be proving that the spread may not be the most effective offensive formula to win championships.
The 2009 Alabama team was based on strength and technique, rather than raw speed like most spread offense teams.
The duel between pro-style and spread came to a head as Alabama faced Auburn and Florida, two teams with very good spread offenses.
Auburn started the game quickly, scoring two touchdowns before the Tide knew what hit them, but as the game progressed, Alabama wore Auburn down before winning with a last-minute touchdown pass.
The same thing happened against Florida, except the Gators never started fast. The Florida defense couldn't stand constantly getting hit by the Tide's physical offensive line and running backs.
The Tide went on to beat Texas, another spread offense team, to win the national title.
Saban and Alabama demonstrated that toughness and physicality, combined with a great running game, is the best formula for a team. This could lead to the spread offense being sent to the junkyard in a couple of years.