What constitutes the most prolific of anything is typically a debate with no winner. Statistics can be slanted to produce a variety of conclusions, but let’s not let that concern prevent us from discussing whether or not the 2013 version of the Texas A&M offense is the most prolific unit in FBS history.
Over the years there have been many noteworthy offenses that have produced stunning numbers, such as the 2005 USC Trojans and 2005 Texas Longhorns; the 2001 Miami Hurricanes; and the 2008 Oklahoma Sooners and Florida Gators. The majority of us could point to the 2005 USC Trojans as the benchmark for a prolific offense, at least over the past 15 years. That Trojan squad put up gaudy numbers: 579 total yards-per-game (260 rushing and 319 passing) and 49 points per game.
So how do the Aggies compare? Last year, the 2012 Texas A&M offensive unit under the lead of Johnny Manziel averaged 552 yards-per game of total offense (235 rushing and 317 passing), along with 44 points per game. These numbers are not quite on par with the 2005 Trojans, but they are strong, especially if one considers the Aggies’ new home is in the SEC West—certainly not a division for the faint of heart! It is likely nobody in the country thought a Big XII offense could appear in the vaunted SEC and have success running an up-tempo speed offense. Texas A&M turned that premise and every opposing pundit on their collective ears.
What will the Aggies do this year?
Thus far Texas A&M, with Manziel taking the snaps, (minus three quarters of play out of a possible twenty), has put up 586 total yards-per-game (365 passing and 221 rushing) and 49 points per game. Going into the bye week last week, the Aggies also had 147 first downs this year, which was leading the nation. That speaks to ball control and driving down the field in a controlled and systematic manner.
At this point there is no need to try and extrapolate the numbers, as they could go in any direction. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the prolific nature of the 2013 Texas A&M offense. Whether or not it will be considered or remembered as the most productive unit in college football history is debatable and remains to be seen; however, there is one fact that is undisputable: lining up and playing Texas A&M is not an enviable challenge for any defensive unit.
The Aggie offense may end up joining the legendary ones mentioned above—only time will tell. However, keep your eyes on the stats in the remaining games, as we may be witnessing something that is not likely to be replicated in the near future. Johnny Manziel, Kevin Sumlin, and the entire supporting cast are conducting a demonstration of running an offense the likes of which we may not yet know how to measure.