The Southeastern Conference was once known as a ground and pound league, with teams trying to run the ball a majority of the time. However, over the past decade, the spread offense has made its presence known in the league, and that will be seen even more this fall due to some of the new coaches in the league.
Gus Malzahn, new head coach of the Auburn Tigers, is known for his high-paced, hurry-up, spread offense. Malzahn employed this system as offensive coordinator at Auburn during the 2010 season when the Tigers went undefeated and won the BCS National Championship. And his quarterback that season, Cam Newton, won the Heisman Trophy.
This system has been the calling card for Malzahn during his career. He is hoping that bringing this offense back to the Plains will help the Tigers produce more plays and more points on offense than they did during last year’s 3-9 season.
The Tennessee Volunteers also figure to use the spread, hurry-up offense this fall. New head coach Butch Jones has used this offense in his previous stops (at Central Michigan and with the Cincinnati Bearcats), and he has won 50 of his 77 games as a head coach, so this system works for Jones. The challenge in Knoxville will be to fill in the talent to be able to run this system.
The same thing can be said about the Kentucky Wildcats. New head coach Mark Stoops hired former Wildcat Neal Brown, most recently the offensive coordinator for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, to run the Big Blue offense this fall. While Brown favors the “Air Raid” passing system, Kentucky may have to make some adjustments due to the level of talent currently on the offensive side of the ball.
These three teams will join the Texas A&M Aggies, the Ole Miss Rebels and the Missouri Tigers, among others, as teams that run either the hurry-up, no-huddle offense and/or the spread passing attack. This seems to be the current trend in college football, and it appears that the SEC is on board.