Count Matt Hayes in the group that thinks those powerhouse Big 12 offenses are destined to flop in the SEC.
The SEC is all about controlling tempo on both sides of the ball.
On offense, that means a power run game. This, of course, is foreign to both Missouri (four and five-wide, no fullback) and Sumlin’s pass-happy teams at Houston (and now at Texas A&M).
Both Sumlin and Pinkel said in June that playing in the SEC won’t change their style of play. That’s what Urban Meyer said, too. Then he lost three games in his first season at Florida because he couldn’t get tough yards by spreading the defense and finding seams.
A year later, his spread offense suddenly became an option-heavy, power run game with a 245-pound quarterback bulldozing opponents and setting up quick, change of pace tailbacks.
You’re not surviving in the SEC without a lead blocking fullback and/or a tight end. And neither Missouri nor Texas A&M has a true lead-blocking fullback on the roster.
Ummm… maybe. His Florida example is a bit strained – Tebow played in 2006, when the Gators won a national title, but didn’t become the starter until the following year. It wasn’t so much that Florida’s offense was remade into a power attack as that Tebow’s attributes uniquely fitted the scheme (and even then, note what happened to the offense after Harvin and Mullen left). But as far as survival goes, Florida never had a lead blocking fullback or tight end who played a significant role in Meyer’s offense.
That all being said, it’s clear that the current trend in the conference is towards the power running schemes Hayes tips his cap to. Florida and Auburn have gone that way. Spurrier has remade his offense in that direction.
But I can’t help keep hearing that Mumme siren song. The Air Raid has worked before in the SEC. Have things changed that much in fifteen years? We’ll see what TAMU, Missouri and Ole Miss have to say about operating a pass-oriented spread attack. All I can say is it’ll be a shame if Hayes is completely right about this, because it’ll make for a more boring conference.