College Football: Power Ranking the Top Offenses Heading into Week 15
Who Has The Best Offense In The College Football Land?
The college football season is coming to a close already -- can you believe it? Many conferences throughout the country are hosing their title games this weekend, and bowl selection is just right around the corner.
The 2013 college football season has also provided us with an abundance of offense, something that usually runs aplenty in the NCAA. One team is averaging over 600 yards of offense per game — some schools can only hope to gain that amount of yardage over a span of two or three weekends. There are also a plethora of schools that average more than 50 points per game, another number that teams find difficult to eclipse in more than just a single game.
Throughout this entire season there have been two schools fighting it out for the right to be called the best offense in college football in the Oregon Ducks and the Baylor Bears. Oregon plays in a much tougher conference than Baylor, but the numbers that Baylor puts up week in and week out are nothing to look over. So with the difference in competition in mind, which school has the best offense?
There are other schools too that have become offensive powerhouses. Florida State has scored more points this season than any other school. Fresno State leads the country in passing, which is the most entertaining part of the college game. They both are used to amassing yardage and lighting up the scoreboard with points, but where do they fall on this list?
Many of these teams have Heisman Trophy Award candidates. They are jam packed with explosive talent good enough to play for NFL teams on Sundays. Find out who the best college offenses are -- there just might be a surprise or two along the way.
15. Arizona State
The Sun Devils have the eighth-best offense in college football in terms of points per game with an average of 43.3 per. Their yardage per game, however, is a bit less impressive at 473.3 yards per game which ranks them 21st in the nation. Arizona State is led by a very balanced quarterback in Taylor Kelly who can run and pass, gaining 3,774 yards in total. Top running back Marion Grice will miss Saturday’s rivalry matchup against Arizona, so it will be interesting to see how Kelly and the Sun Devils' offense make up for his absence.
14. San Jose State
San Jose State is led by one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country, David Fales. He just out-dueled Heisman hopeful and NFL Draft prospect Derek Carr on Friday, passing for a school record 547 yards and six total touchdowns. The Spartans’ run game is supported by walk-on Jarrod Lawson, and they have an extremely trusty wide receiver in Chandler Jones. Fales’ arm is more than ready for the NFL and it is what makes this passing-style offense the 14th-best in terms of yards per game nationwide at 493.3 per.
The Huskies average 514.3 yards per game, which is good enough for eighth in the nation. Their points-per-game numbers are not as impressive, however, ranking them 18th. Quarterback Keith Price and running back Bishop Sankey have led the Washington offense all season long to a 8-4 record. We’ll see, however, how this offense produces once a new head coach takes over now that Steve Sarkisian has left for USC.
12. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys run a sort of platoon-style offense with most of its numbers spread evenly throughout its personnel. It uses two quarterbacks, Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh, who have attempted almost the same amount of passes this season. Running backs Desmond Roland and Jeremy Smith have just 201 yards separating them. Still, this Oklahoma State offense ranks tenth in the nation in points per game at 41.2, though their yards per game ranking falls way below at 41st in the country. What makes this offense so impressive is its balance. Head coach Mike Gundy has multiple players who can get the job done at many different positions, making the Cowboys worthy of their No. 6 ranking in the BCS poll.
With an average of 513.3 yards per game of offense, Marshall holds a national ranking of ninth in the category. Both their passing and rushing attacks average over 200 yards per game this season. The very balanced schemes from head coach Doc Holliday has the Thundering Herd scoring 44.6 points per game, good enough for sixth in the nation. Marshall is led by quarterback Rakeem Cato and a dynamic running duo in Essray Taliaferro and Steward Butler, who have 17 touchdowns between the two.
Once a favorite for the Heisman Trophy, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd has the Tigers offense ranked 12th in the country at 40.2 points per game. Clemson holds the same ranking in terms of yards per game as well at 502 per. While the 2013 season has been somewhat of a disappointment for Boyd and Tigers, Clemson is No. 13 in the BCS and will attract many suitors for bowl opportunities.
The Missouri Tigers are without a doubt the biggest surprise out of the Southeastern Conference. They were 5-7 a year ago, and now they rank fifth in the BCS. Much of this has to do with offense that averages 38.8 points per game, led by quarterback James Franklin and running backs Henry Josey and Russell Hansbrough. Missouri finds itself in the SEC Championship game this Saturday against another prolific offense in Auburn.
Auburn shocked the world last Saturday when it defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide. Now they have a legitimate shot at a spot in the BCS National Championship game. All season they have operated under a dynamic triple-option scheme that has the Tigers ranked fifth nationally with 318.3 rushing yards per game. Running back Tre Mason leads the ground game, alongside a stellar supporting cast of quarterback Nick Marshall and Sammie Coates. Head coach Gus Malzahn has brought a completely new brand of football to Auburn and its offense is a direct beneficiary.
7. Fresno State
Fresno State is by far the best passing team in the nation, coming in as the only school to average over 400 passing yards per game. Quarterback Derek Carr is an NFL Draft prospect and is without a doubt the captain of this offense that scores the fourth-most points per game in the nation at 47.3. The Bulldogs’ BCS hope shattered with a 62-52 loss to San Jose State on Friday, but its dominant offense will attract multiple bowl opportunities.
6. Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch has crept further and further toward the top of Heisman watch lists throughout the country as his stellar season has unfolded. The senior leads a Huskies offense that ranks fourth in yards per game (542.3) and ninth in points per game (42.8). Their run game is the most impressive aspect of their offense, averaging 318.9 yards per game, good enough for fourth in the nation. Northern Illinois is one of three undefeated teams left in Division I, though their No. 14 BCS ranking shows little love to that fact.
5. Texas A&M
Johnny Manziel has been just as productive for the Aggies as he was during his Heisman Trophy season a year ago. Texas A&M ranks fifth in the nation with 538.2 yards per game and seventh with 43.6 points per game. Manziel is both the leading passer and rusher for the Aggies, totaling more than 4,400 yards of offense. His rushing numbers are down from a year ago, but his passing numbers are up. Manziel and the rest of the Aggies' offense make for entertaining football and have led Texas A&M to a somewhat disappointing 8-4 season.
4. Ohio State
Ohio State has not lost in 24 games. That’s almost two full seasons the Buckeyes have gone undefeated, and they have their offense to thank. Ohio State scores the third-most points per game at 48.2 and gains the sixth-most yards per game with an average of 530.5. They are led by a rushing attack that averages the second-most yards per game in the nation behind Carlos Hyde and quarterback Braxton Miller. They face Michigan State on Saturday for the Big Ten Championship Game, and the Spartans have a lot of work to do if they hope to stop this dominant Buckeye run game.
3. Florida State
Led by Heisman favorite Jameis Winston, the Seminoles are most likely headed to the BCS National Championship game barring any sort of disaster. They average 526.1 yards per game and score 53.7 points per game, which ranks seventh and second in the nation respectively. Even though he’s just a freshman, Winston has turned this Seminoles offense into a dominant beast.
Oregon has battled with the team atop this list all season long for the right to call themselves the best offense in the land. While they play in a more difficult conference than the nation’s top offense, their numbers just don’t stack up. Nonetheless, the Ducks’ offense is still ridiculously good. Oregon has gained the second-most yards this season with 6,876 and scored the fourth-most points with 561. Quarterback Marcus Mariota has said that he will return next season, so look for this Ducks offense to be just an explosive a year from now.
It is truly mind-boggling what the Baylor Bears have been able to do on offense this season. They lead the nation in both points scored and yards gained per game. The Bears offense averages 635.1 yards per game — the nations next best is Fresno State with 580.6. No school comes close to gaining the yardage that Baylor does. Quarterback Bryce Petty leads the Bears with over 3,700 yards of offense and 39 total touchdowns. There’s no denying these numbers, which is why Baylor has the best offense in the college football land.