Good primer from Ian Boyd here on the four types of spread offenses that prevail in college football these days, which he labels pro-spread, smashmouth spread, power-spread and spread-option. There are variations within each, of sorts, but his bottom line is coordinators pick a philosophy first and then a version of the spread to implement that choice.
The real key is what the offense wants to do in order to win. Do they want to control the ball with a power run game? Pile up points throwing play-action? Orient the game around key passing game matchups? Or spread you out and just distribute the ball to space?
It’s been fascinating watching what started as an offensive revolution over a decade ago turn into an offensive evolution that’s taken over the sport. We’re not arguing about whether the spread is better than traditional I-formation based football anymore; instead, the question is whether an offense is using a version of the spread best suited for its personnel. The last war is over. Long live the next one, I guess.