An alternative history of the SEC, by Chris Huston:
SEC football changed when Urban Meyer took his coaching talents to Gainesville.
A league that had won just two BCS titles between 1998 and 2005 suddenly figured a few things out. Mainly, it realized that it’s not enough to just roll the ball out there on the field and expect superior talent to overcome your opponent.
Players mattered, sure, but so did plays.
It’s almost quaint to think back to the many observers who scoffed at the notion that the spread offense would thrive in the SEC. But a couple years into the Meyer tenure, the verdict was in and crystal clear. And most of the rest of the league quickly followed suit.
In 2006, only one team in the league scored more than 30 points per game. A year later, six teams averaged over 30 points per game. By 2010, seven teams did so, with 10 overall averaging 29 or better. And most of them did so by utilizing some sort of spread, or sprinkling in variations of it as part of their offense. Even normally-stodgy Alabama found success running plays out of the Pistol, Wildcat and passing spread formations. [Emphasis added.]
See what he did there? When you get to the point that you label every offensive formation that isn’t a pro-set as some variant of the spread, you’ve rendered the term meaningless.
I previously explored Florida’s scoring history under Meyer in this post.