I Can't Believe It's Not Butter: Why the Spread Offense Should Be Banned

Bennett KaplanCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2008

The spread option offense—also known as the spread, the spread-o and the five-wide spread—mesmerized college football this season.

The spread offense is a high speed offense in which four or five wide receivers are spread across the field. The quarterback sits in the shotgun formation with a single splitback on their left or right side.

In this system, the quarterback is usually a very fast and elusive player.

The objective of the spread offense is to spread out the defense across the field to create mismatches and one-on-one coverage. With the defense spread out, there is lots of room on either side of the front line, creating running lanes for the elusive QB who will often run options and sneaks.

Several of the Top 25 teams in the nation used the spread offense, including Oregon, West Virgina, Missouri, LSU, Florida, and many others—proving it to be a force to be reckoned with.

In my opinion, the finest example of the spread offense was displayed this season by Dennis Dixon, Jonathan Stewart, and the Oregon Ducks. Until Dixon was injured late in the season, the Ducks were the top team in the nation. They were unstoppable.

The spread offense is also fun to watch. When I'm watching a game featuring a spread offense, I know who's going to win—the team that's running the spread. There is no specific way to defend against this offense, which raises the question: Should this offense be banned?

Why should the NCAA allow teams to use a strategy that is impossible to stop?

It would be unfair. If their is no way to defend it than it shouldn't be legal to use because the few teams that have players capable of the spread would have an unfair advantage over the league.

You could counter with the fact that any team could run it. YOU WOULD BE WRONG. You are wrong. You need a fast quarterback, and elusive running back, and an amazing offensive line.

So until the NCAA puts this into consideration, these fast paced teams will continue spreading defenses like knives spread butter.