Spread Offense Changing College Football

Marcus TraetowContributor ISeptember 19, 2008

If you have been watching college football lately, chances are one of the teams is running the spread offense. New coaches, faster players, and a history of success are driving the need for the entertaining scheme.  

A prime example of the changes being made is the Michigan Wolverines. They have had a history of being one of the down and dirty Big Ten teams that rely on their rushing game between the tackles, and have historically spent a lot of time in pro formations and sustaining long drives.  

Everything has changed when they brought in one of the masters of the spread offense, Rich Rodriguez—it changed the whole mentality of the team.  It forced their top Quarterback, Ryan Mallet, to transfer. They now rely on the little former gymnast, Freshman Sam Mcguffie, to get a lot of touches.  

College football is changing.

The spread is also changing how coaches recruit. Speed is valued more than ever because they can utilize it in so many ways and positions inside the offense.  

Percy Harvin, for exomaple, one of college football's best burners, can play any skill position in Florida's offense. Defensive players also have to be faster. The spread puts defenders in many man-on-man situations. If they are big brutes who can pop Pat White's pre-game pasta into the stands on a regular basis when he is sitting in the pocket, then they need to have a 3.5 forty time to get to him before he throws his bubble screen to Noel Devine.  

New coaches coming into the college ranks are looking for a way to make a name for themselves. Most new coaches stepping in are offensive coordinators, they know the success that programs like Texas Tech, Oregon, Florida, West Virginia, and even Appalachian State have had.  

Smaller schools with new coaches now can recruit one quarterback and a handful of speedsters and put together a respectable offense, or at least have potential to be one.   

You can look at this situation in many ways, but I look at it as increased entertainment.

It seems like every saturday the games include more scoring, more speed, and more exciting plays that you haven't seen before(Dennis Dixon's fake statue of liberty against Michigan).  

On the other hand, you can think of it as forgetting traditions of football.  My dad is 43 years old and was a very successful football player in a small town.  I would guess they ran the ball 75% of the time from the stories I have heard.  He says that football games are supposed to be won in the trenches, not by some track star converted wide receiver.  

Take it however you want it but the truth is, college football is changing.