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    Random Thought About ISU Football...

    I had this discussion with a friend one time, and thought I would share it with this board...the spread offense will never take ISU to the heights it wants to be.

    The spread became such a popular phenomenon in college football a decade ago because it was an equalizer for teams that did not have the talent to match up with the more talented teams on their schedule. The idea of the offense was to spread out the defense, demphasizing the importance of OL play, and split out WRs until the offense finds a speed/height/talent mismatch against the defense. This worked pretty well for a lot of teams a decade ago because defenses were still geared to stop more "traditional" college offenses. That is not the case anymore.

    The spread made it possible for average offensive talent to look impressive simply because of the mismatches it posed to defenses. It demphasized the traditional strengths of the D, such as the DL and LB, and placed more of an emphasis on the play of the DB's. As defenses in the last decade have adjusted (gotten faster across the board, increased DB depth, and gameplanning to stop the spread), the advantage gained by running the spread has been lessened. Furthermore, whereas the spread O was only run by mostly "less prestigious" college football programs in the past, it is now being run by some of the most prestigious programs throughout the country. Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, and Texas all run some form of the spread in their offenses today.

    A decade ago the only teams recruiting "spread like" high school athletes were the more traditional "bottom feeder" teams and mid majors, today, major players in the college football world are going after talent for the spread offense (dramatically increasing the demand for WR's/DB's). Almost every team in the Big 12 runs some form of the spread offense, it is the most "spread-heavy" league in the country...this brings me to my point on ISU...

    With ISU being the least able of Big 12 teams to recruits (in terms of geography and reasources) it makes little sense, IMO, to implement an offense that is nearly identical to Texas, TTech, Kansas, Missouri, etc. because every one of those teams can recruit BETTER than ISU. Essentially, ISU will be left with the talent for their offense that nobody else wants...this recruiting conundrum has been part of the reason for ISU's struggles in football throughout their history...but today I would say it is even more relevant because of the similarity in the offensive style between all of the Big 12 teams, however, I think there is a solution.

    IMO, ISU would be best suited to run an option offense...please here my argument. In today's Big 12, EVERY defense has adjusted to the advent of the spread by recruiting as many CB's as possible and by becoming as fast as possible (and in the process, on average, becoming lighter across the board), I think ISU can exploit that by running a power run offense that keeps the opposing offense off the field and creates match up problems for defenses.

    Defenses gameplan week in and week out in the Big 12 to stop the spread, imagine the advantage one could gain by running an offense entirely different than that of the rest of the league. Furthermore, if ISU ran an option offense they would be better suited to "plough through" the faster and lighter Big 12 defenses of today with their power running attack.

    Also, as Kirk Ferentz has proven, you don't have to recruit elite talent on the OL to have an excellent OL. The OL is one of the easiest positions to coach up on the offense, supposing the teams OL coach is good, and the skill position players in an option offense are VERY coachable...it is more about execution than talent, so recruiting becomes less of an issue.

    A couple of obvious replies that I can forsee:

    1.) We tried a power run attack under Jim Walden.....

    Yes, ISU did implement a wishbone offense under Walden, but back then, there were many power rushing attacks in the Big 12 and that greatly limited its effectiveness at ISU. Also, does anyone here really want to argue that Walden was a good coach? If Rhoads isn't a better coach than Walden, ISU football is in trouble.

    2.) The option is a dinosaur, it doesn't work in today's college football world...

    Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech disagrees, he compiled a 9-3 record in an ACC jwith an option offense in 2008. Of course, he did get his butt kicked in their bowl game, but it is pretty easy to argue that LSU had far superior athleticism on their team than what GT did. I will grant that when a team has a full month to prepare for an option attack, it is much easier to shut down, however, I think most ISU fans are worried primarily with regular season victories before bowl victories become a concern

    Thoughts?



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkfan View Post
    2.) The option is a dinosaur, it doesn't work in today's college football world...

    Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech disagrees, he compiled a 9-3 record in an ACC jwith an option offense in 2008. Of course, he did get his butt kicked in their bowl game, but it is pretty easy to argue that LSU had far superior athleticism on their team than what GT did. I will grant that when a team has a full month to prepare for an option attack, it is much easier to shut down, however, I think most ISU fans are worried primarily with regular season victories before bowl victories become a concern

    Thoughts?
    What team doesn't have far superior athleticism to Iowa State?



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkfan View Post
    I had this discussion with a friend one time, and thought I would share it with this board...the spread offense will never take ISU to the heights it wants to be.

    The spread became such a popular phenomenon in college football a decade ago because it was an equalizer for teams that did not have the talent to match up with the more talented teams on their schedule. The idea of the offense was to spread out the defense, demphasizing the importance of OL play, and split out WRs until the offense finds a speed/height/talent mismatch against the defense. This worked pretty well for a lot of teams a decade ago because defenses were still geared to stop more "traditional" college offenses. That is not the case anymore.

    The spread made it possible for average offensive talent to look impressive simply because of the mismatches it posed to defenses. It demphasized the traditional strengths of the D, such as the DL and LB, and placed more of an emphasis on the play of the DB's. As defenses in the last decade have adjusted (gotten faster across the board, increased DB depth, and gameplanning to stop the spread), the advantage gained by running the spread has been lessened. Furthermore, whereas the spread O was only run by mostly "less prestigious" college football programs in the past, it is now being run by some of the most prestigious programs throughout the country. Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, and Texas all run some form of the spread in their offenses today.

    A decade ago the only teams recruiting "spread like" high school athletes were the more traditional "bottom feeder" teams and mid majors, today, major players in the college football world are going after talent for the spread offense (dramatically increasing the demand for WR's/DB's). Almost every team in the Big 12 runs some form of the spread offense, it is the most "spread-heavy" league in the country...this brings me to my point on ISU...

    With ISU being the least able of Big 12 teams to recruits (in terms of geography and reasources) it makes little sense, IMO, to implement an offense that is nearly identical to Texas, TTech, Kansas, Missouri, etc. because every one of those teams can recruit BETTER than ISU. Essentially, ISU will be left with the talent for their offense that nobody else wants...this recruiting conundrum has been part of the reason for ISU's struggles in football throughout their history...but today I would say it is even more relevant because of the similarity in the offensive style between all of the Big 12 teams, however, I think there is a solution.

    IMO, ISU would be best suited to run an option offense...please here my argument. In today's Big 12, EVERY defense has adjusted to the advent of the spread by recruiting as many CB's as possible and by becoming as fast as possible (and in the process, on average, becoming lighter across the board), I think ISU can exploit that by running a power run offense that keeps the opposing offense off the field and creates match up problems for defenses.

    Defenses gameplan week in and week out in the Big 12 to stop the spread, imagine the advantage one could gain by running an offense entirely different than that of the rest of the league. Furthermore, if ISU ran an option offense they would be better suited to "plough through" the faster and lighter Big 12 defenses of today with their power running attack.

    Also, as Kirk Ferentz has proven, you don't have to recruit elite talent on the OL to have an excellent OL. The OL is one of the easiest positions to coach up on the offense, supposing the teams OL coach is good, and the skill position players in an option offense are VERY coachable...it is more about execution than talent, so recruiting becomes less of an issue.

    A couple of obvious replies that I can forsee:

    1.) We tried a power run attack under Jim Walden.....

    Yes, ISU did implement a wishbone offense under Walden, but back then, there were many power rushing attacks in the Big 12 and that greatly limited its effectiveness at ISU. Also, does anyone here really want to argue that Walden was a good coach? If Rhoads isn't a better coach than Walden, ISU football is in trouble.

    2.) The option is a dinosaur, it doesn't work in today's college football world...

    Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech disagrees, he compiled a 9-3 record in an ACC jwith an option offense in 2008. Of course, he did get his butt kicked in their bowl game, but it is pretty easy to argue that LSU had far superior athleticism on their team than what GT did. I will grant that when a team has a full month to prepare for an option attack, it is much easier to shut down, however, I think most ISU fans are worried primarily with regular season victories before bowl victories become a concern

    Thoughts?
    I don't like it.



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    Interesting. I think you bring up a good point, but I don't think the spread has been exploited far enough to be thrown out of the window. There are a lot of variations that can be run and different plays yet to be ran. With smart coaches (hopefully Herman), we can have an offense that is hard to prepare for, even though it is still a spread offense.



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    You just want to see us run an offense that Iowa could easily stuff. I'll give you credit for making a massively long attempt to convince us that this is a good idea.


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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    Really? The spread doesn't work anymore? Tell that to Texas Tech and Rice...


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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkfan View Post
    I had this discussion with a friend one time, and thought I would share it with this board...the spread offense will never take ISU to the heights it wants to be.

    The spread became such a popular phenomenon in college football a decade ago because it was an equalizer for teams that did not have the talent to match up with the more talented teams on their schedule. The idea of the offense was to spread out the defense, demphasizing the importance of OL play, and split out WRs until the offense finds a speed/height/talent mismatch against the defense. This worked pretty well for a lot of teams a decade ago because defenses were still geared to stop more "traditional" college offenses. That is not the case anymore.

    The spread made it possible for average offensive talent to look impressive simply because of the mismatches it posed to defenses. It demphasized the traditional strengths of the D, such as the DL and LB, and placed more of an emphasis on the play of the DB's. As defenses in the last decade have adjusted (gotten faster across the board, increased DB depth, and gameplanning to stop the spread), the advantage gained by running the spread has been lessened. Furthermore, whereas the spread O was only run by mostly "less prestigious" college football programs in the past, it is now being run by some of the most prestigious programs throughout the country. Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, and Texas all run some form of the spread in their offenses today.

    A decade ago the only teams recruiting "spread like" high school athletes were the more traditional "bottom feeder" teams and mid majors, today, major players in the college football world are going after talent for the spread offense (dramatically increasing the demand for WR's/DB's). Almost every team in the Big 12 runs some form of the spread offense, it is the most "spread-heavy" league in the country...this brings me to my point on ISU...

    With ISU being the least able of Big 12 teams to recruits (in terms of geography and reasources) it makes little sense, IMO, to implement an offense that is nearly identical to Texas, TTech, Kansas, Missouri, etc. because every one of those teams can recruit BETTER than ISU. Essentially, ISU will be left with the talent for their offense that nobody else wants...this recruiting conundrum has been part of the reason for ISU's struggles in football throughout their history...but today I would say it is even more relevant because of the similarity in the offensive style between all of the Big 12 teams, however, I think there is a solution.

    IMO, ISU would be best suited to run an option offense...please here my argument. In today's Big 12, EVERY defense has adjusted to the advent of the spread by recruiting as many CB's as possible and by becoming as fast as possible (and in the process, on average, becoming lighter across the board), I think ISU can exploit that by running a power run offense that keeps the opposing offense off the field and creates match up problems for defenses.

    Defenses gameplan week in and week out in the Big 12 to stop the spread, imagine the advantage one could gain by running an offense entirely different than that of the rest of the league. Furthermore, if ISU ran an option offense they would be better suited to "plough through" the faster and lighter Big 12 defenses of today with their power running attack.

    Also, as Kirk Ferentz has proven, you don't have to recruit elite talent on the OL to have an excellent OL. The OL is one of the easiest positions to coach up on the offense, supposing the teams OL coach is good, and the skill position players in an option offense are VERY coachable...it is more about execution than talent, so recruiting becomes less of an issue.

    A couple of obvious replies that I can forsee:

    1.) We tried a power run attack under Jim Walden.....

    Yes, ISU did implement a wishbone offense under Walden, but back then, there were many power rushing attacks in the Big 12 and that greatly limited its effectiveness at ISU. Also, does anyone here really want to argue that Walden was a good coach? If Rhoads isn't a better coach than Walden, ISU football is in trouble.

    2.) The option is a dinosaur, it doesn't work in today's college football world...

    Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech disagrees, he compiled a 9-3 record in an ACC jwith an option offense in 2008. Of course, he did get his butt kicked in their bowl game, but it is pretty easy to argue that LSU had far superior athleticism on their team than what GT did. I will grant that when a team has a full month to prepare for an option attack, it is much easier to shut down, however, I think most ISU fans are worried primarily with regular season victories before bowl victories become a concern

    Thoughts?
    we should just close our program and throw our support to Iowa.



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    Have to disagree. ISU MUST run the spread to be succesful. We cannot line up and physically pound most teams in the Big 12. Therefore, we have to spread them out and make them cover the entire field.

    There are really, really talented players in the Big 12. Most teams could load up in the box against the option and still be able to cover our WRs one-on-one with their athletic CBs.

    We have to have threats all over the field. We must have the threat of 3-4 WRs, a TE, a RB, and the QB keeping the ball as well. That is much harder to defend.



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    Some of what you say makes sense, but I think speed and athleticism will stop the option just as easily as it will stop the spread. I know you cut down the size of the field when you option to one side or the other so theoretically power becomes more important than speed, I just don't think it usually works out that way. The good teams all have speed, and I like the spread because it not only forces the D to cover the whole field but there are so many passing plays you can use. It emphasizes the short passing game to set up the long (and running game), which I think is the smartest way to approch offense when you can't just run over people, which is getting harder and harder to do. It also helps to have a very good offensive mind, which I think we now have, so it's got me pumped up anyway.



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    Teams that run the option the right way are very difficult to defend. It is also very hard for a defense to prepare for, especially if they are only preparing for it once a year. Those would be the advantages. The disadvantages are that it is very boring football to watch IMHO. ISU needs to worry about upgrading its defense far more than its offense right now. The years in which ISU went to bowl games it had playmakers on defense. Ellis Hobbs, LaMarcus Hicks, Brent Curvery, Tim Dobbins, etc.



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    Time will tell.

    All I know is the old power I and simple option like Nebraska used to run does not seem to work any longer.

    Our coach is plenty smart and am sure he will adapt to the opportunities that present themselves.

    I believe we tried the triple option under Jim Walden and didn't work worth a darn.



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    I think that was the longest load of BS on this board since I became a member. I think we will have more of a running game than in the past primarily because we have decent running backs for the first time in a lot of years. The offensive coordinator will run more if we have the line/backs to go with it regardless of the offense he prefers. The best coaches work with the talent they have, unlike Chizik and his coaches who tried making their players do things they couldn't. Just like KF does every year, he allows his players to do what is best for them to succeed. Spread or not, a system will work if you have the right players and the right coaches. What we need is a defense and then maybe our offense will be able to outscore the other teams!



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    We'll run the option out of the Spread and give Iowa a sound beating in September.



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk fan View Post

    Thoughts?

    My thought is you had to plagiarize this because no hawk fan can put together that many words that makes sense.

    As for running the option. Nice try!



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    Re: Random Thought About ISU Football...

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkfan View Post
    I had this discussion with a friend one time, and thought I would share it with this board...the spread offense will never take ISU to the heights it wants to be.

    The spread became such a popular phenomenon in college football a decade ago because it was an equalizer for teams that did not have the talent to match up with the more talented teams on their schedule. The idea of the offense was to spread out the defense, demphasizing the importance of OL play, and split out WRs until the offense finds a speed/height/talent mismatch against the defense. This worked pretty well for a lot of teams a decade ago because defenses were still geared to stop more "traditional" college offenses. That is not the case anymore.

    The spread made it possible for average offensive talent to look impressive simply because of the mismatches it posed to defenses. It demphasized the traditional strengths of the D, such as the DL and LB, and placed more of an emphasis on the play of the DB's. As defenses in the last decade have adjusted (gotten faster across the board, increased DB depth, and gameplanning to stop the spread), the advantage gained by running the spread has been lessened. Furthermore, whereas the spread O was only run by mostly "less prestigious" college football programs in the past, it is now being run by some of the most prestigious programs throughout the country. Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, and Texas all run some form of the spread in their offenses today.

    A decade ago the only teams recruiting "spread like" high school athletes were the more traditional "bottom feeder" teams and mid majors, today, major players in the college football world are going after talent for the spread offense (dramatically increasing the demand for WR's/DB's). Almost every team in the Big 12 runs some form of the spread offense, it is the most "spread-heavy" league in the country...this brings me to my point on ISU...

    With ISU being the least able of Big 12 teams to recruits (in terms of geography and reasources) it makes little sense, IMO, to implement an offense that is nearly identical to Texas, TTech, Kansas, Missouri, etc. because every one of those teams can recruit BETTER than ISU. Essentially, ISU will be left with the talent for their offense that nobody else wants...this recruiting conundrum has been part of the reason for ISU's struggles in football throughout their history...but today I would say it is even more relevant because of the similarity in the offensive style between all of the Big 12 teams, however, I think there is a solution.

    IMO, ISU would be best suited to run an option offense...please here my argument. In today's Big 12, EVERY defense has adjusted to the advent of the spread by recruiting as many CB's as possible and by becoming as fast as possible (and in the process, on average, becoming lighter across the board), I think ISU can exploit that by running a power run offense that keeps the opposing offense off the field and creates match up problems for defenses.

    Defenses gameplan week in and week out in the Big 12 to stop the spread, imagine the advantage one could gain by running an offense entirely different than that of the rest of the league. Furthermore, if ISU ran an option offense they would be better suited to "plough through" the faster and lighter Big 12 defenses of today with their power running attack.

    Also, as Kirk Ferentz has proven, you don't have to recruit elite talent on the OL to have an excellent OL. The OL is one of the easiest positions to coach up on the offense, supposing the teams OL coach is good, and the skill position players in an option offense are VERY coachable...it is more about execution than talent, so recruiting becomes less of an issue.

    A couple of obvious replies that I can forsee:

    1.) We tried a power run attack under Jim Walden.....

    Yes, ISU did implement a wishbone offense under Walden, but back then, there were many power rushing attacks in the Big 12 and that greatly limited its effectiveness at ISU. Also, does anyone here really want to argue that Walden was a good coach? If Rhoads isn't a better coach than Walden, ISU football is in trouble.

    2.) The option is a dinosaur, it doesn't work in today's college football world...

    Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech disagrees, he compiled a 9-3 record in an ACC jwith an option offense in 2008. Of course, he did get his butt kicked in their bowl game, but it is pretty easy to argue that LSU had far superior athleticism on their team than what GT did. I will grant that when a team has a full month to prepare for an option attack, it is much easier to shut down, however, I think most ISU fans are worried primarily with regular season victories before bowl victories become a concern

    Thoughts?
    Great, well thought out post IMO. Good job out of you. I have no idea what will (or won't) work with the current athletes and incoming recruits, but I'm hopeful the new staff will explore all their options.


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