It is evident the Big 12 has now entered the era of aerial attacks. Counters have been replaced with corner routes, dives with digs and student body right with spread em' out and screen.
Mike Leach's once gimmicky spread and score offense, has ravaged through the conference like the virus in the movie "Outbreak."
In the past two seasons Bill Callahan implemented the much ballyhooed West Coast offense;
And in the dawn of a new football year, the virus is spreading.
Victim #1: Baylor.
After struggling to find wins in
their first 10 years in the conference (8 total) with a traditional look, Guy
Morriss has called in the circus clowns. In the off-season he hired offensive
coordinator Lee Hays and quarterback coach Wes Phillips, both from West Texas
A&M of Division II. Hays spent copious amounts of his time at West Texas
taking road trips to
"I think it's something that we're going to have to do for the next couple of years to level the field," Baylor coach Guy Morriss said. "It's a system you can operate and be successful with, without having the ready-made player coming out of high school like the Texas' and Oklahomas are getting," Morriss said.
If you can't beat them you might as well trick them. It's a wonder why Baylor didn't implement this system a little earlier.
"You know it's pretty easy, really. It's about like falling off a log. The quarterback finds you and you get the football. You just have to be willing to chuck the ball 50 and 60 times a game," Morriss said.
But Baylor isn't the only team bit
by the "chuck the football" bug.
"It's becoming a much wider game, teams recommend embracing three and four wide receiver formations, and what they're accomplishing now by having a terrific play-making dual-threat quarterback, is you are essentially playing with 12 people on the field," Kansas State head coach Ron Prince said.
The Wildcats plan to use more of an NFL type offense, rather than the quarterback-run heavy offense utilized under Bill Snyder. Poor Bill can join the list of former coaches who saw their traditional system blown to pieces. So can Gary Barnett.
"We're a long ways away," Hawkins said. "We're in a place where you develop a space shuttle where there's a lot of buttons and knobs you can to fly your ship. And we've got to continue to work to add those buttons and knobs and features to our ship."
Fly away, Dan. Fly away.
With the added emphasis on the pass, teams are forced to adjust. Texas A&M went as far to switch their base defense from a traditional three linebacker set to only two at linebacker and five in the secondary.
"By the end of last season, we were playing in nickel coverage on most snaps anyway, so we decided to make it permanent," Texas A&M head coach Dennis Franchione said
Beware scoreboard operators, more
points are on the way. With young, hyped quarterback arms emerging like Kerry Meier at
That is until Mike Leach sets a new trend.
"I'm kind of looking forward to the wishbone showing up. It's a pretty good offense," Leach said.
And he was dead serious. Leave it to Mike Leach to bring back the wishbone.
Where are Jim Walden and Bob Utter when you need them?