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    Lightbulb Thoughts on the Prevalence of the Spread

    I posted this on the famed Barking Carnival site, but I wanted to talk about why I think the spread is becoming more and more popular, and why offensive diversity (wishbone, veer, run and shoot et al.) is declining in college football. Interested in people's thoughts.

    ****

    To me, the current dominance of the spread has most to do with the progressive relaxation of the way holding has been called over the last twenty years. Under the current rules, both linemen and wide receivers can now extend their arms and grab jersey. This makes it much easier for wide-OL-split teams to run the ball, as they can tie up the DLs and “keep the holes open” long enough for the quick-hit running plays to get to and through the line, or just reach out and grab blitzers on their way to the QB (see Tech, Texas).

    Accordingly, these two facts are not coincidental - 1) that Big XII teams disproportionately run the spread, and 2) that Big XII refs are famed for not calling holding (e.g., contrast the Fiesta Bowl (OU/Loadholt flagged, deservedly, for many holding calls) with the BCS Championship (Big XII refs, as usual, ignore numerous holds on both sides)). I am surprised more people haven’t picked up on this. As another person notes, "call holding and they become “chuck and duck” offenses with QBs running for their life and completions much harder to generate."

    I’m admittedly old-guard, and I love the Option-I offense. However, I believe that the spread is the “dominant strategy” given the current rules, and will reach near 100% use in the next few years. I think it will take a change in the rules/enforcement of holding for the return of diversity in offensive systems.



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    Re: Thoughts on the Prevalence of the Spread

    Quote Originally Posted by ojnab_bob View Post
    I posted this on the famed Barking Carnival site, but I wanted to talk about why I think the spread is becoming more and more popular, and why offensive diversity (wishbone, veer, run and shoot et al.) is declining in college football. Interested in people's thoughts.

    ****

    To me, the current dominance of the spread has most to do with the progressive relaxation of the way holding has been called over the last twenty years. Under the current rules, both linemen and wide receivers can now extend their arms and grab jersey. This makes it much easier for wide-OL-split teams to run the ball, as they can tie up the DLs and “keep the holes open” long enough for the quick-hit running plays to get to and through the line, or just reach out and grab blitzers on their way to the QB (see Tech, Texas).

    Accordingly, these two facts are not coincidental - 1) that Big XII teams disproportionately run the spread, and 2) that Big XII refs are famed for not calling holding (e.g., contrast the Fiesta Bowl (OU/Loadholt flagged, deservedly, for many holding calls) with the BCS Championship (Big XII refs, as usual, ignore numerous holds on both sides)). I am surprised more people haven’t picked up on this. As another person notes, "call holding and they become “chuck and duck” offenses with QBs running for their life and completions much harder to generate."

    I’m admittedly old-guard, and I love the Option-I offense. However, I believe that the spread is the “dominant strategy” given the current rules, and will reach near 100% use in the next few years. I think it will take a change in the rules/enforcement of holding for the return of diversity in offensive systems.

    I agree with you. In fact Mizzou has holding down to a science. Their ends grabbed our DBs EVERY play. We were at the game, sitting close. Chizik went berzerk, but nothing was called. Guess if you can't beat em, you join em. You are right on. KU also got in the holding groove.



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    Re: Thoughts on the Prevalence of the Spread

    I think ISU will run the spread more and more in the coming years as they get more playmakers, and I think we will even see a lot of it this year.



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