A great quote from Chip Kelly about offense, from Chris Brown’s excellent look at why Oregon succeeds at the level it does:
“Every coach has to ask himself the same question: ‘What do you want to be?'” Kelly said at a recent clinic. “That is the great thing about football. You can be anything you want. You can be a spread team, I-formation team, power team, wing-T team, option team, or wishbone team. You can be anything you want, but you have to define it.”
There seems to be an awful lot of defining going on this season.
Through Tuesday, the 124 teams in the Bowl Subdivision have scored 36,130 points over 1,232 games, an average of 29.3 points per team per game. If that average holds, it would break the record of 28.4 points a game set in 2007.
More significantly, it’s not a one-time thing.
The climb in scoring has been a trend since the 2007 season. Prior to that fall, the national scoring average had only twice climbed above 26.9 points a game since the NCAA began tracking the statistic in 1937.
Over the past six years, however, FBS scoring average has moved above 28 points a game four times and never dropped below 27.
Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe thinks the war is over and offense won.
“People want to see a lot of scoring,” Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said Wednesday. “They like seeing football scores like 38-35, they don’t like seeing a 3-0 game. I don’t think we’re going backwards in this deal. What you typically see is offenses take the lead then defenses catch up. It’s point-counterpoint, punch-counterpunch. But right now, I don’t see the defenses getting to where they’ll ever be dominant again.”
Maybe he’s right. But it’s worth noting that of the top thirty teams in total defense, only two have losing records. And those two 4-6 teams, Connecticut and Maryland, rank among the worst offensive teams in the nation at #107 and #120 respectively. So is it a question of defense weakening across the board as a new offensive philosophy seems to be taking hold at the college football level, or is it more a case that what good offenses are doing these days simply exposes bad defensive teams to a greater extent than before?