Originally Posted by IslandRed
I generally agree with that. If you're just flat-out better than your opponents, lots of stuff works.
But I'm not sure we'll see those kinds of all-run teams anymore, at least not at the very top levels of college football. There's a greater talent spread in college than in the pros, but a school that aspires to national championships can figure on running into at least a few teams that aren't physically overmatched. It's hard to win those games with a completely one-dimensional offense nowadays, especially when the one dimension is the one that handicaps the ability to come from behind. And you mentioned the recruiting difficulties.
Some teams (think Georgia Tech or Navy) can still make some hay with the option game at times, because it's tough to prepare for in one week and it's forgiving in terms of not having A+ personnel.
Absolutely. The Wishbone - or any triple option offense - would work better at the high school level where kids don't have the options - no pun intended - they have in college. In college, if a kid doesn't like what the team is doing or his status, he can transfer. I suppose that can happen in high school but it's more rare than in college. In college you have to have the right personnel and kids with the right attitude. If tOSU had told Pryor that they wanted him at QB for their triple option offense, Pryor probably would have gone elsewhere. Not that he wouldn't have made a dynamite triple option QB but he's not going to make it to the NFL as a QB by running a triple option offense. The jury is out whether he'll make it to the NFL now but he's got a better shot at it than if he was a triple option QB.
The come from behind factor is a good point. But that comes back to the distribution of scholarships. Back when I grew up, Oklahoma and Nebraska used to beat the living crap out of teams like Iowa State and Kansas State and Kansas. They didn't have to worry about coming from behind unless they played each other or they went to a bowl game. They could hoard scholarships while those other teams had to get the scraps. Nowdays, even the great teams don't consistantly beat the crap out of the lesser teams. You don't see Florida beating Vandy 72-3 every year. TV may have to do something to do with the parity in recruiting as well. If you're in a BCS conference, you have a lot more games on TV (regional or national) than you did a generation ago. A kid doesn't have to go to Oklahoma to be on TV. You go to any Big 10 school and you're either on the Big 10 Network, ESPN or ABC every week. The Oklahomas and Nebraskas have to offer something different besides the triple option to get kids to play for them. Oklahoma and Texas have become almost QB factories in the past 10-15 years. Nebraska is still trying to get back to elite status but that doesn't seem to be working for them as well as it has for their neighbors to the south.
Excellent point about schools like Navy and GT using the Wishbone because of the lack of A+ personnel. I'd also add that the service academies usually have kids with more discipline and are willing to follow orders and that helps when teaching them an offense like the Wishbone. They aren't usually going to transfer if the offense isn't to their liking.