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Power ranking college football’s recruiting monopolies

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The pass-first, triple option zone-read

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The tight end of the modern defense

Cutting edge defensive coordinators like Brent Venables have been building their defenses around mobile hybrids that can relocate to wherever offenses try to create space and run/pass conflicts with hybrid tight ends.

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TCU’s next offensive adjustment

This offseason Gary Patterson has quietly been assembling the staff and players to infuse his program with the one offensive tactic that has always given him fits.

Master class chess games of 2018: Moorhead vs Steele

Kevin Steele broke against type and tried to utilize a few different tricks, including one borrowed from Bill Belichik, to bust up Joe Moorhead’s option offense at Mississippi State. Instead Nick Fitzgerald ran wild and the option guru came out ahead.

Master class chess games of 2018: Leach vs Lake/Kwiatkowski

The Washington Huskies have had their rival’s number over the last few years in the Apple Cup. In 2018 they had a showdown against Mike Leach and Gardner Minshew in the snow and came out ahead once more.

Master class chess games of 2018: Mullen vs Aranda

LSU proved to be one of Florida’s biggest wins for Dan Mullen in year one and made two in a row that he’s put over on defensive guru Dave Aranda.

Master class chess games of 2018: Patterson vs Meyer/Day

Gary Patterson’s TCU Horned Frogs got a big chance to take down a blue blood power when they faced the Ohio State Buckeyes. How did their 4-2-5 fare against Urban Meyer and Ryan Day’s vaunted spread attack?

Master class chess games of 2018: Dantonio vs Frost

In year one at Nebraska Scott Frost had to take on the Big 10’s best run-stopping defensive program in a chess game that may be played out multiple times in the coming years.

Big plays are the 3-pointers of football

The only way to prevent them is by preventing ANY kind of successful play.

When running the dang ball goes wrong: How Miss St showed Clemson the way to stop Alabama

Alabama’s RPO spread offense is designed to make defenses choose to yield space for their running game. But what if defenses accept that trade?

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The 2017 S&P+ rankings have been updated

The SEC’s rebound began with an all-SEC national title game, and it’s like S&P+ was redesigned specifically to punish UCF.

Pump fake Purdy and Iowa State’s improving infrastructure

Iowa State’s NFL skill talent is moving on, but Matt Campbell may have the pieces in place on the OL, TE, and at QB to keep his program moving forward.

The 2016 S&P+ rankings have been updated

Clemson’s steady climb to the national title both capped a five-year build and gave the ACC "top conference" honors in 2016.

Positionless offense and the 21 spread

The RPO, spread-I offense has taken over college football and now defenses are learning how to adjust. But offenses that are building around hybrids are setting themselves up to stay ahead as other teams try to maintain specialization.

The 2015 S&P+ rankings have been updated

Everybody regressed to the mean, and for the second straight year, the best team didn’t win the title.

Morning Tailgate

Revisiting the 2015 college football season with advanced box scores

The 2015 national title race was fine. The number of crazy-ass finishes was amazing.

TCU and positionless defense

While the Horned Frogs’ 4-2-5 defense is often considered a standard for flexible base defense, they’ve also been experimenting with hybrid packages.

Mike Gundy’s next trick

Oklahoma State slowly started to evolve their offense to better attack the anti-spread defenses in the Big 12 and to maximize their reloaded roster. Things might break out in 2019 with a new QB and cast of characters on offense.

The 2014 S&P+ rankings have been updated

The 2014 season saw more plot twists than normal, and the best teams in the middle of the season very much weren’t the best at the end.

2013 UCF, the proto-champions

Everyone will remember the 2017 season when UCF went undefeated and claimed a national championship, but the program broke through and really proved themselves back in 2013 with a league title and Fiesta Bowl upset.

Revisiting the 2014 college football season with advanced box scores

The SEC loses its mind, Baylor and TCU break football, and then Ezekiel Elliott goes 85 yards through the heart of the South. What a damn year.

The 2013 S&P+ rankings have been updated

Florida State peaked on both sides of the ball, the Pac-12 was suddenly amazing, and Auburn used a decade’s worth of karma. Good times.

Revisiting the 2013 college football season with advanced box scores

God, this season was great.

Could Texas A&M have won the national championship in 2012 as a member of the Big 12?

Texas A&M transitioned to the SEC in 2012 and had a huge first season, winning 11 games, upsetting Alabama, and watching freshman QB Johnny Manziel garner a Heisman trophy. But what more might have been had the Aggies been in the Big 12 for even just one season more?

The 2012 S&P+ rankings have been updated

The best team won the national title ... because the ninth-best team screwed up its self-imposed sanctions.

Revisiting the 2012 college football season with advanced box scores

A boring September, followed by a booming November. (And a title game blowout.)

2011, twilight of the Brent Venables OU defense

Back in 2011 it wasn’t commonly understood what it truly meant or required to play great defense in the Big 12. Brent Venables and the Sooner defense had a tarnished legacy as a result.

The 2011 S&P+ rankings have been updated

College football’s balance of power shifted pretty dramatically, on and off the field, in 2011. But we don’t really remember that because two defenses stole the show.

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No matter your relationship to college football, the future of analytics will make at least one of the items listed below better for you.

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Revisiting the 2011 college football season with advanced box scores

An amazing September, a Game of the Century, and a pretty good set of BCS bowls masked a boring October and that whole "The rematch no one wanted" thing.

How close to greatness is UCF’s spread-iso offense?

UCF blew away the AAC in 2018 only to come up short against LSU in the Fiesta Bowl. How close were the Knights against the dreaded Tiger D and what’s next for the aspiring national contenders?