Back to the Future: The Secret Origins of Offensive Chic Revealed!

I know, I know, it's national signing day, but I certainly don't know more about it than you do and there's a good chance I know even less, so I would encourage you to read the fine work of Paul Westerdawg and MaconDawg regarding Georgia's 2007 signing class. It's good stuff.

In the meantime, I recently offered a lengthy rejoinder to College Football Resource's defense of the Gang of Six, in which CFR attempted to prop up the loopy notion that Florida's 2006 national championship was attributable to offensive prowess.

I doubt whether any national champion to have emerged from the Southeastern Conference has ever been led to the top spot in the polls by offense to a greater degree than by defense. The S.E.C. is, after all, the most defensively-minded of all conferences and even Steve Spurrier's high-flying offense couldn't win it all until his team developed a defense.

It is useful, therefore, to offer a lesson in S.E.C. history for the benefit of those who might be in need of one. In the course of their 2006 national championship campaign, the Florida Gators achieved the following along the way:


  • Shut out two opponents
  • Held four opponents to a single-digit point total
  • Limited 10 out of 14 opponents to 16 or fewer points
  • Won five games by seven or fewer points
  • Allowed more than 20 points just twice
  • Scored more than 40 points three times
  • Scored more than 28 points five times
  • Scored 29.7 points per game
  • Allowed 13.5 points per game

Now compare that to another national champion out of the S.E.C., which compiled the following resume en route to No. 1:

  • Shut out three opponents
  • Held four opponents to a single-digit point total
  • Limited eight out of 12 opponents to 16 or fewer points
  • Won six games by seven or fewer points
  • Allowed more than 20 points just thrice
  • Scored more than 40 points two times
  • Scored more than 28 points five times
  • Scored 27.8 points per game
  • Allowed 11.4 points per game

The resumes of those two teams are strikingly similar. It stands to reason, therefore, that, if one of them fairly could be called an offensively innovative scoring machine, the other would be equally deserving of that moniker.

The team I have compared to the 2006 Florida Gators is, of course, the 1980 Georgia Bulldogs.

That's right . . . the plain-vanilla, unimaginative, old-school, fundamentally-sound, field-position, defensively-minded, run-it-between-the-tackles, three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust, hand-off-to-Herschel-274-times-in-11-regular-season-games, Buck-Belue-only-threw-11-touchdown-passes-and-completed-less-than-half-of-his-attempts-all-year-long 1980 Georgia Bulldogs won the national championship with offensive and defensive statistics strikingly similar to those compiled by the 2006 Florida Gators.

It turns out, apparently, that George Haffner was a man ahead of his time, an offensive genius boldly elevating "scheme" to dizzying heights of overarching significance! Who knew?

That is your offensive revolution? If so, the proper term for it isn't "Gang of Six" or "Offensive Chic" . . . it's "I Love the '80s!"

Go 'Dawgs!

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