EUGENE OR - OCTOBER 2: Running back LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates as he scores a touchdown in the second quarter of the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Autzen Stadium on October 2 2010 in Eugene Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
We did a brief piece explaining how you can't spell extraordinary without "ordinary" in breaking down the Ducks' offense, and how what they do is simply good craft put in the hands of good talent under good playcalling. The best defenses and best offenses both have that in common, though explaining defenses and their simple chemistries has never been as glamorous because defense is in essence a negative experience, one of destruction. People don't like to have bombs and wiring explained to them: they just want to see the boom.
Capers like the Oregon offense demand some explanation, but in the explaining the basics get lost: namely, that what makes the Ducks offense work so very well is the same thing that made every other record-breaking offense work, and every other decennial amazing defense happen, too: execution and skill. Oregon's offensive line blocks the living shit out of their assignments. LaMichael James not only reads the drift of the line and the defense like waves, he hits the holes in that drift with a ferocity unparalleled in college football. He's a violent runner running behind violent blocks executed with a violent precision. That, as far as anyone can tell us, is a hallmark of great football at any level in any system.
Thus the anger at the resident message board twat who says a system is easily beaten simply because it is a system of slight variance from the rest of college football, or worse yet a deviation from some abstract and nonexistent historical norm. They're the same people who said the wishbone would never work at Texas (and then at Alabama,) that Urban Meyer's offenses wouldn't work in the SEC*, that the pass-first offenses of 1980s BYU wouldn't leave the outskirts of Provo, and that Gus Malzahn was a high school coach in over his head in a college environment. Anything that does the basics well and does them well on a consistent basis works, since innovation at its best is just as boring in one sense as the stultified status quo: it protects the ball, blocks well, and executes with pinpoint precision.
That would be the hallmark of craft, the thing done well, and though awe and fairy dust may be its side effects, confusing them for the substance demeans the observer and the thing observed.
*2010 offer excluded