Digital Headbutt

A sports blog about stuff…stuff that involves things.

Return of the Triple Option!

Posted by Mike on July 30, 2008

Thirty years ago, it was the only way to play in college football. Fifteen years ago, many major programs were still using it. But when Bill Callahan’s West Coast offense was installed at Nebraska, everyone though t it meant that the triple option, as an artform in major college football, was dead.

Well, now we know for sure. This ancient form of sport is returning, thanks to Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson.

The article goes into far more detail than I, but it makes two fundamental points. First, The triple option offense has been used effectively in major college football for decades, and there’s no reason to believe it cannot still work when used effectively. Second, the triple option has become so rare in major college football that most coaches, staff, and players won’t know how to defend it.

I think the prospect of the triple option on major college football is more exciting now than 15 years ago precisely because of this: the rarity. Part of what makes the NFL less exciting than college is that just about every team seems to run a similar offense, with only changes based on personnel. The return of the triple option is fantastic because it’s now the exception, rather than the rule.

Now, if only we can get Butch Davis to throw in the A-11 formation.


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