The "Spread" is not an offense

I am reading a lot about "spread offense" and how it benefits a team and gets wins.  The problem is that "the spread" is not an offense.  It is a formation.

The spread is a formation out of which a coach can run different offenses based on the talent available.  Watch Florida, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and last year's West Virginia team and see what the offenses have in common.  Here's a hint: nothing.  Texas Tech almost never runs the ball while West Virginia tried not to throw the ball.  Sam Bradford is a drop pack passer while Tim Tebow leads his team in carries .  The only similarity between all of these teams is that they will often put  just 5 men up at the line and always have multiple split out receivers.

Running an offense out of a spread formation does not guarantee wins or even a capable offense.  A team's offense should fit its personnel (whether by adjusting to the players or recruiting the right players for the system) and the spread is generally geared toward teams with more skill players and less (in number) capable linemen and tight ends.  The spread allows a team to use the presence of extra skill players on the field to negate a defense's size advantage.

Scheme is a great equalizer in college football, but only when the scheme is properly executed.  A team with many able large bodied linemen would be wasting talent running a spread and would be better off converting some of those linemen to tight end and using them to block.  A team with Texas Tech's personnel would be foolish to try and run a power running game like Ohio State when they have so many receivers and so few run blocking linemen. 

What I am trying to say is that scheme and play calling, whether out of the spread formation or a more conventional formation, need to fit the personnel available.  One offense or another does not guarantee more points, better recruits, or more wins.  Besides, like in basketball, the true goal is efficiency.  If you score on every possession, it doesn't matter if your drives take 1 minute or 10.

I am confident that our coaching staff, while not employing a "spread" offense, is leading the team in the right direction.  By bringing in the necessary players to fit the system and getting them to execute properly, our coaches will set themselves up for an incredible run.  As far as the offense goes, every offense (WCO, spread, pro style, A-11, etc.) tries to make the defense commit one way in order to go the other.  If our coaches do that, they can run the single wing for all I care.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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