July 24, 2006

Big 12 continues to evolve offensively

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - First-year Kansas State coach Ron Prince said in early June he had identified a trend. During the Big 12 Football Media Days on Monday, Nebraska coach Bill Callahan acknowledged it as well. And this fall, Baylor coach Guy Morriss hopes to emulate it. Apparently, Mike Leach was onto something big years ago. Going to the air could become the rave of the league in 2006.

Nobody can do it quite like Leach, an innovator of the spread offense. His Red Raiders have led the nation in passing yardage in each of the last four seasons and have scored at least 40 points in half of their games since 2002.

"Spread offense," Leach said, "it's gotten to where it's hard to specifically nail it down."

These days, the variations are everywhere. Still, the attack that comes packaged with a varying degree of intricacies and different names remains tied to the same precursor.

Simply put, the Big 12 will embark on its 11th season with the ball perhaps getting more air time than ever before, as many offenses will feature fast pass catchers that can spread the field and take advantage of matchups.

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