With the off-season in full swing, I’m bringing back a fan favorite* series from last year: would you rather.
In this series, we’ll ask a bunch of random, what-if, could-never-happen questions, and let you, the reader, decide just what exactly would make the most sense.
This iteration asks: would you rather have an air raid offense that scores > 40 PPG, but gasses your defense, or a ground-and-pound offense that scores < 20 PPG, but keeps your defense fresh.
Basically, would you rather be the Big 12 circa 2012, or Wisconsin pretty much every year?
For my money, I’d go with option A. First, offense is exciting. The 2016 season was notable because the team was entertaining, and put up points with a quickness. Once the Joe Moorhead offense took hold, Penn State lit up the scoreboard, and scored their way to a Big Ten title and the Rose Bowl.
Of course, that team is the prime example of scoring too much, too quickly. Look no further than the Rose Bowl, where the defense simply couldn’t hold on late in the game, and USC completed the last-minute comeback, 52-49. Yes, your beloved Nittany Lions allowed 52 regulation points!
Still, that team was fun.
Perhaps more importantly to the question at hand, teams today are going to score points. It’s a given. You’re not going to see any team in modern football shutting out every single opponent. In fact, in 2020, the average team scored 28.7 points per game.
So if you’re relying on beating every single team by the score of 17-14, you’re basically asking your defense to take the average team and cut their offensive production in half.
That doesn’t seem reasonable, does it? While everyone loves the bruising defenses that completely shut down opposing offenses, those days seem bygone.
No, give me an electric offense, and let me enjoy the ride as my defense tries to hang on by their fingernails to win the game.
What say you?
* No fan at any point, ever, indicated that this was their favorite series.