BURNFIN: Oregon or Alabama? Baylor or Michigan State? Give me all four


Why do we have to choose one or the other?

Why do we have to choose one or the other?

For the last several years, with the development of spread, up-tempo offenses across all of college football, fans have argued about which style is better: the traditional "pro" style offense with one, two or sometimes three tight ends, a full back and off-tackle runs and play-action passes, or the quick-paced multi-wide receiver, misdirection, zone-read, spread offenses that have taken the sport by storm.

Alabama or Auburn. Stanford or Oregon. Michigan State or Baylor.

Being a fan of the Oregon Ducks, the team that did not by any means invent the zone-read or tempo offense, but did bring it to the national consciousness, I prefer the latter. However, it's not an either/or situation.

Wednesday afternoon and night was the perfect example of that.

Two traditional offenses — Michigan State and Stanford — played in the Grand Daddy of them all, the Rose Bowl, in front of a packed house for a wildly entertaining game of more pound-it-out styles. Then, in the night cap, UCF and Baylor squared off in a matchup of the flashy spread offenses based on speed and tempo.

And for the first half I was able to see — darn late games — it sure seemed to live up to its billing.

Both games pitted similar offensive philosophies against each other, and both were great matchups. Stanford and Michigan State are obviously the best two teams of the four, but it did not matter when the teams were on the field.

The pair of games were just as great to watch because the fun of sports is the competition between elite athletes and coaches, sparring to determine the better competitor.

The dueling styles just made it all that much more intriguing.

And, in the end, both styles are effective enough to win it all. Just take a look at the two teams in the national championship — Florida State (more traditional) and Auburn (the epitome of a new-aged spread offense this season).

Sports Reporter J. Levi Burnfin can be emailed at lburnfin@gctelegram.com

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