Power Ranking College Football’s Top Offenses
Power Ranking Top College Football Offenses
Changes come quickly when it comes to football. Just a decade ago, the best quarterbacks were seen as tall, big-armed pocket passers like Peyton Manning. Over the recent years, however, offenses have become faster and more dynamic, and the quarterbacks like Marcus Mariota, who can make an impact with both their arm and legs, are the new breed being sought after by both NFL and college football programs.
The most successful college football offenses are the ones that emulate what Oregon has been doing for years. The Ohio State Buckeyes, a traditional Big 10 team, has even switched to running a read-option offense. Although they aren't on this list, they are one of the best offenses in the country. The Buckeyes, although traditionally better than the Baylor Bears, are being outshone by the new read-option offense that Art Briles is running in Waco with the Bears, which is why you will see them ranked highly on this list.
A few of these offenses will look quite different next season, not necessarily when it comes to the scheme, but more so the faces running it. Mariota is projected as a top quarterback prospect and will likely leave for the NFL after this season, but another team on this list is employing a freshman that fans will get to see on Saturday’s for at least one more year.
This power ranking of the top five college offenses of course includes teams that run the read-option, but it also includes those programs still running a more traditional style, but still seeing success. Although the teams holding the No. 1 and 2 spots could easily be argued, all five that are ranked deserve to be feared.
No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide
I can easily make an argument for the Alabama Crimson Tide to be either left off this ranking, or moved higher up it. The Tide have scored easily in every game they have played, but they have looked bad at times as well. Not as bad as we see from the likes of Middle Tennessee on a Saturday, but more of the players running the wrong routes and running backs struggling to move the chains. Alabama will get its first real test of the year Saturday night against the LSU Tigers in a game in which AJ McCarron will enter with just three interceptions, but with 16 touchdowns and 1,862 passing yards.
No. 4 Texas A&M Aggies
This one is easy to explain, but hard to defend. Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies dismantled the Alabama defense earlier this year, the first team to do so since last year, when they did it as well. Manziel and Mike Evans can make a deadly combo in the red zone and open field, but without one of the two this offense takes a huge step back. The Aggies gave us one of the best games of the college football season to date, and they may move themselves up this list if they play well against LSU on November 23.
No. 3 Florida State Seminoles
As a redshirt-freshmen, Jameis Winston burst onto the scene in a huge way his first game under center. Winston threw the ball just 27 times, but only two passes were incomplete, and he gained 356 yards and four touchdowns on his way to becoming the next big star in college football. He then proved himself even further when on national television, in a prime time game, he lit up the Clemson Tigers defense for 444 passing yards and four total touchdowns. Winston will be a hot name in the 2015 NFL draft, but until then fans will get to watch him routinely make highlight reel plays. As a group, the Seminoles have the third most points in the nation, but even they don’t come close to what the next team is doing.
No. 2 Oregon Ducks
The Ducks are once again the premier zone-option offense in the country as Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas remain as two of the most electric players in the game. Even when Thomas was out with an injury the Ducks were still the best running offense in the country and average over 330 yards on the ground per game. Oregon gets their next real test this Saturday night against the Stanford Cardinal. If the Ducks escape that road game with a victory, they should be lined up to take on the Crimson Tide in the National Championship, something we have all wanted to see for years.
No. 1 Baylor Bears
As you can see from the picture above, Baylor run a version of the read-option, but what separates them from Oregon is that Bryce Petty, the Bears’ quarterback, would rather drop back and throw the ball deep, which attributes to the 400 passing yards he averages per game. The Bears don’t run the option to keep the ball on the ground all the time, but instead they use it to freeze linebackers and create time for their receivers to get open deep. The Bears also have one of the best running backs in the country with Lache Seastrunk, but their next three games are against ranked opponents, so their offense, which averages over 700 total yards per game, must prove deserving of this No. 1 ranking if they hope to emerge unbeaten.