The 10 Most Explosive Offenses of the Past Five Years

Philip DodsonCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2010

The 10 Most Explosive Offenses Of The Past Five Years

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    In the world of college football, an explosive offense provides leads and great defenses hold them.  The past five seasons have given fans an abundance of offensive yards, talented skill position players, and few reasons to remain seated.  

    As we look at the ten most productive and complete college offenses over the past five years, keep in mind the level of competition, the balance between running and passing yards, and the ability to turn yards into points. 

2008 Texas Tech Raiders

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    Consistently producing high-powered offensive seasons, the Red Raiders put on a show during the 2008 campaign.  Primarily looking the throw the ball, Graham Harrell sliced up the Big 12 with 5,111 yards passing, 45 touchdowns and nine interceptions during the season.  

    Current San Francisco 49er, Michael Crabtree was widely regarded as the best wide receiver in the nation. Crabtree finished 2008 with 97 receptions for 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns.  

    The running game was efficient, as both Baron Batch and Shannon Woods averaged over five yards per carry and reached 700 yards on the season.  

    The Red Raider offense averaged 531 yards per game with 422.7 coming through the air, and 117.8 on the ground.  The team finished the year 11-2 with a loss to Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl, and averaging 43.8 points per game. 

2006 Hawaii Warriors

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    In contrast to the following season, the Warriors played a more difficult schedule during the 2006 campaign.  The team finished the year at 11-3 with defeats at the hands of Alabama, Oregon State, and Boise State.  

    Colt Brennan completed 72.6 percent of his passes for over 5,500 yards, 58 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions on the season.  

    Wide Receiver Devone Bess was the main recipient of Brennan's strong play, as he recorded 96 catches for 1,220 yards, and 15 touchdowns.  Jason Rivers pitched in with 1,178 yards on 78 receptions with 10 touchdowns.  

    With limited touches, tailback Nate Ilaoa ran for 990 yards at an impressive 7.6 yard per carry clip.  

    The Warrior offense averaged 567.5 yards per game and scored an average of 54.7 points per game on the season.  

2007 Tulsa Golden Hurricanes

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    Playing the mediocre competition of Conference-USA, the yards and points put up by the 2007 Tulsa offense made it impossible to leave them off this list.  

    Quarterback Paul Smith was impressive throwing for 5,065 yards with 47 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.  

    Brennan Marion was ridiculous with a 31.9 yards per catch on the season.  Charles Clay, Trae Johnson, and Marion all eclipsed over 1,000 yards receiving during the 2007 campaign.  

    Add in a contribution of 1,225 yards on the ground from Tarrion Adams, and it's easy to see how balanced, and explosive the Golden Hurricane offense was.  

    The team averaged 386.5 yards passing, 172.9 yards rushing, and 41.1 points per game during the 2007. season.  Tulsa finished the year 10-4 with a victory over Bowling Green in the GMAC Bowl. 

2007 Kansas Jayhawks

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    The Jayhawks burst onto the national scene in 2007, behind a balanced offense led by sophomore quarterback Todd Reesing.  An offense lacking in speed, and talent the Jayhawk offense didn't have any problems in terms of scoring production.  

    Reesing threw for 3,486 with 33 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.

    Marcus Henry and Dexton Fields were Reesing's main targets during the year. Henry produced 1,014 yards on 54 receptions and 10 touchdowns, and Fields caught 63 passes for 834 yards.  

    Running back Brandon McAnderson rushed for 1,125 yards with 16 touchdowns.  Kansas squeezed into the 2008 Orange Bowl and responded with a 24-21 victory over Virginia Tech.  

    The offense averaged 492.9 yards per game and 42.8 points per game during the 2007 season.

2007 Florida Gators

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    Showing just how tough SEC defenses can be, the Gators are the only SEC team to make this list.  In 2007, Florida was led by Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.  

    The offense was consistent and balanced, averaging 263 yards passing and 200.2 rushing yards per game.  Considered a disappointment following a BCS title, Urban Meyer's squad finished the season at 9-4 after a defeat to Michigan in the Capital One Bowl.  

    Tebow was dynamic with 3,286 yards passing, 895 yards rushing and accounted for 55 offensive touchdowns.  The athletic skills of Percy Harvin were on display with 764 yards rushing, and 858 yards receiving.  

    The high-powered Gator offense averaged 42.5 points per game during the 2007 season. 

2007 Missouri Tigers

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    Much like Kansas, the Missouri Tigers put on an offensive show for the rest of the nation during the 2007 season. Quarterback Chase Daniel completed over 68 percent of his passes for 4,397 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.  

    Underrated running back Tony Temple ran for 1,039 yards on 186 carries with 12 touchdowns for the Tigers.  

    Current NFL players, Chase Coffman and Jeremy Maclin quickly became primary targets for Daniel. Maclin caught 80 receptions for 1,055 yards, and nine  touchdowns, while Coffman pitched in with 39 catches for 531 yards and seven touchdowns.

    The Tiger offense was balanced, averaging 326.4 yards passing and 176.2 rushing yards per game in 2007.  

    Scoring an average of 39.9 points per game, Missouri dominated Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl to finish the year at 12-2. 

2005 USC Trojans

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    The 2005 edition of the Trojans could be considered one of the most balanced, productive offenses in college football history.  The team featured two Heisman Trophy winners, in quarterback Matt Leinart, and running back Reggie Bush.  

    In 2005, Leinart passed for 3,815 yards with 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

    The backfield combination of Bush, and Lendale White combined to run for over 3,000 yards, and 40 touchdowns on the season.  

    The main target for Leinart, wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett caught 90 passes for 1,274 yards, and 16 touchdowns on the season.  

    The Trojan offense averaged 587.9 yards per game with a balance of 327.9 passing and 260 yards rushing. The team was efficient turning yards into points by scoring 49.1 point per game.  

    USC ran into an equally explosive Texas offense in the 2006 Rose Bowl to finish the season at 12-1. 

2009 Houston Cougars

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    Much like the offensive production of Tulsa a few year earlier, it is really tough to leave a team that led the nation in points and offensive yards off this list.  

    Led by current quarterback Case Keenum, the Cougar offense averaged 42.1 points per game, and 563.4 offensive yards in 2009.  

    Keenum finished the season recording 6,072 yards passing with 44 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.  

    Keenum's strong play helped push James Cleveland, Tyron Carrier, and Patrick Edwards over 1,000 yards receiving on the season.  

    The backfield combination of Charles Sims, and Bryce Beall produced nearly 1,500 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground.

    The Houston defense was little help as they surrendered big offensive games in defeats to UTEP, East Carolina, Central Florida, and Air Force as the team finished the year at 10-4. 

2005 Texas Longhorns

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    Mack Brown rode the arm and legs of quarterback Vince Young to the 2006 BCS National Championship.  

    The Longhorns were semi-balanced averaging 245.1 yards passing and 274.9 rushing yards per game.  

    Young threw for 3,036 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2005.  The quarterback also led the team with 1,050 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on the ground.  

    Current Kansas City Chief Jamal Charles posted an impressive 7.4 yard per carry average on 878 rushing yards during the season.  

    Working with relatively unknown wide receivers, Young's main targets were David Thomas, Linus Sweed, and Billy Pitman.  

    The Longhorns finished the year undefeated averaging an impressive 50.2 points per game.  

2008 Oklahoma Sooners

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    The 2008 version of the Sooner offense was explosive, balanced and efficient.

    Quarterback Sam Bradford managed to win the Heisman Trophy in an offense that also produced two 1,000 yard running backs on the season.  

    Bradford finished the year totalling 4,720 yards passing with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

    Splitting time, Chris Browns eclipsed 1,200 yards rushing and DeMarco Murray added just over 1,000 yards on the ground.

    Tight end Jermaine Gresham was stellar catching 66 passes for 950 yards and 14 touchdowns.  

    The offense averaged 198.5 yards on the ground and 356.3 through the air. The Sooners finished the year averaging 51.1 points per game with losses to Texas and the Florida Gators in the BCS National Championship game. 

Honorable Mentions

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    2007 Hawaii Warriors - Led once again by Colt Brennan, the Warriors breezed through the regular season undefeated.  Statistically, the offense scored on average (56.4), higher then the 2006 team, but became more reliant on the passing game in the process.  The offense averaged only 68.3 rushing yards per game in 2007. 

    2005 Louisville Cardinals - Led by Brian Brohm and Michael Bush, the Cardinals were balanced offensively averaging 309.2 yards passing and 188.5 yards rushing during the 2005 season.  The team finished 9-3 with a loss to Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl. 

    2008 Florida Gators - On their way to a BCS National Championship, the Gators averaged 43.6 points per game on the season.  Led by Tim Tebow the offense averaged 445 offense yards in 2008. 

    2005 Arizona State Sun Devils - A far cry from the present, the Sun Devil offense averaged 537.4 yards on offense and 36.8 points per game on their way to a 7-5 season.  

    2005 Michigan State Spartans - It's hard to believe that a team could average 512.9 yards on offense and only score an average of 33.8 points per game.  The Spartans were awarded for their poor efficiency with a 5-6 record on the season. 

    2007 Texas Tech Red Raiders - Much like the following season, the Red Raiders were led by Graham Harrell, and the fabulous freshman Michael Crabtree.  The squad went 9-4 with a victory over Virginia in the Gator Bowl. 

    2008 Tulsa Golden Hurricanes - After an 8-0 start to the season, the Golden Hurricanes played mediocre ball to finish the year at 11-3.  The offense averaged 47.2 points per game, and 569.9 yards of offense per game. 

    2008 Houston Cougars - The 2008 version of Houston was explosive on offense yet still only managed to go 8-5 on the season. Case Keenum and company averaged 562.8 yards of offense, with a 161.2 coming from the running game.