2012 College Football Offense Rankings – Top 5 Offenses: There is no shortage of offensive philosophies in college football these days. From pass-happy spread attacks and traditional pro-style systems to complex option-based attacks, the variety of offenses at the college level is incredible. Perhaps even more impressively, all types of offenses can be dominant given the proper coaching staff and proper personnel. With that in mind, here is a look at the top offensive units for the upcoming college football season.
Top 5 College Football Offenses in 2012 NCAA Football
1. Oregon Ducks
Since Chip Kelly became head coach, the Ducks have averaged well over 40 points per game. He recruits speed, speed and more speed, and his spread option attack is always one play away from a touchdown. Last year, Oregon ranked third in the country in scoring, sixth in yardage and second in rushing. Even with quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James departing for the NFL, the Ducks still have plenty of firepower. Kenjon Barner will become the starter after rushing for almost 1,000 yards as a backup, and De’Anthony Thomas had 18 scores and over 2,000 total yards as a true freshman last season. No team has more speed at the skill positions, and as long as Kelly’s system is in place, Oregon is going to be an offensive juggernaut.
2. Oklahoma Sooners
An injury to star receiver Ryan Broyles at the end of last season was a blow that the Sooners never really recovered from, but this unit is loaded. Quarterback Landry Jones is a Heisman candidate and the leader of an offense that averaged more than 40 points per game last season, while ranking fourth in the country in total yards and passing yards. Starting running back Dominique Whaley returns from an ankle injury, and junior receivers Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds are an experienced, productive pair of targets for Jones. Perhaps most importantly, four starters return to an offensive line that allowed just 11 sacks on more than 500 pass attempts. Jones and company are going to give opposing defenses nightmares all season.
3. Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin punished opponents last season with an efficient, balanced offensive attack. The Badgers threw for 2,984 yards and rushed for 3,086 yards, while ranking fourth in points per game (44.6) and third in third down conversion percentage (54.1). Running back Montee Ball was the centerpiece of the offense, and he returns in 2012-13 after leading the country in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns last season. Meanwhile, transfer Danny O’Brien will provide a proven replacement for quarterback Russell Wilson, allowing the Badgers to remain balanced, and massive left tackle Ricky Wagner is the anchor of an offensive line that always reloads. Wisconsin will continue to wear down opponents and put points on the board.
4. USC Trojans
USC averaged 35.8 points per game, but event hat respectable total is misleading. After a start, the Trojans began firing on all cylinders during the toughest stretch of the year, averaging 43.6 per game in the last five games. With Heisman frontrunner Matt Barkley back at quarterback and top targets Robert Woods and Marqise Lee back at the receiver spot, USC should have little trouble putting up monster offensive numbers all season. Senior running back Curtis McNeal provides the balance, and Barkley’s aerial assault will take care of the rest. The Trojans passing game will carve up secondaries all year.
5. Arkansas Razorbacks
The Razorbacks averaged 37.4 points per game last season, and their only two losses came on the road against LSU and Alabama. Starting quarterback Tyler Wilson led Arkansas’ spread passing attack that was efficient and explosive, and he is back under center this season. More importantly, star running back Knile Davis returns to bolster the run game after missing all of last season. The firing of Bobby Patrino as coach for his bizarre off-field incident is far from ideal, but maintaining Paul Petrino as the offensive coordinator should provide stability for Wilson and the rest of the offense. Assuming the Razorbacks can put the distractions aside, they actually have more weapons in place on offense this season.
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