I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but, jeez, this is good:
- Grab-bag offense: Far and away, the number one problem from a strategic view is a disorganized, “grab-bag” offense that lacks a definable identity. This isn’t to say that you can only do one or two things, but the bad teams almost universally do not know who they are. Say what you will about Tony Franklin at Auburn, but that whole thing was a mess last year because, among other reasons, they had an identity crisis. But this problem is not just germane to coaching changes or new offensive coordinators. Often, teams that have been fine try to “update” their offenses with the new-new thing, and more often than not they regress. There’s a completely true old coaching adage that it is less important what system you run than it is the fact that you have a system, preferably one that you know well and can coach. Hence an offense like Urban Meyer’s works for a lot of reasons, but one reason is that the entire team is completely committed to it. The same is true for Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech, or Nebraska’s great I-option teams, or really any other good team you can think of. They might appear “multiple,” but there’s an identity there. Again, it’s hard to underemphasize this because not only does it make planning coherent, it has its biggest gains probably for practice time: when Meyer or Johnson or Osborne or any of the other committed coaches practice their offenses, they focus exactly on what they will actually do in games, and their stuff all fits together. A grab-bag team might be adding or subtracting stuff week by week, and they never get good at anything.