SBNation’s Football Study Hall is always informative and wildly entertaining, and Bill Connelly does a terrific job crunching numbers. His most recent study pertained to college football’s ‘most spread’ offenses.
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Spread ‘em out attacks are becoming more popular, even in the SEC. Remember when Urban Meyer brought the spread attack to Florida? Many said he couldn’t win with that offense. He won two championships and had a Heisman winner in Tim Tebow with his scheme. Most recently, Gus Malzahn and Kevin Sumlin have turned the SEC on its head with a similar style of play, and the explosive box scores they are putting together aren’t what we’re used to seeing.
Connelly’s theory, which evolved into a study, is that if spread offenses are designed to get the ball in space to its playmakers, the percent of solo tackles is the biggest indicator of the most spread offenses, as opposed to assisted tackles.
Here’s Connelly’s list of how the SEC’s offenses rank in terms of the most spread attacks:
|SEC Rank||National Rank||School||% Solo Tackles Against|
Granted, this is one year’s worth of numbers, but the study revealed Ole Miss had the SEC’s most spread offense, while Arkansas had the least spread attack. I wouldn’t agree that Auburn has the SEC’s eighth most spread attack (or the country’s 66th most spread attack), but based on this past season, you could call Auburn’s offense a downhill power running game with tempo.
I’m anxious to watch Kentucky’s Air Raid attack when they get their personnel right. Arkansas, LSU and Alabama bring up the rear in the least spread teams.
Is it a perfect theory or study? I’m not sure anything’s a perfect study in college football, because it’s ever evolving, and coaches evolve offenses to fit the personnel. It won’t bring anyone to a complete conclusion, but it’s certainly interesting.
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