CFN Tuesday Question - All-Time Offense
CFN's Tuesday Question - All-Time Greatest Offensive Team
- 10 Greatest Quarterbacks of
All-Time | 10 Greatest Defensive Players
- 10 Greatest Regular Season
Games of All-Time | 10 Greatest
Playmakers of All-Time
- 10 Worst Heisman Winners
| All-Time Defensive Team
The All-Time Offensive Team ...
I chose this team the same way I'd pick
an All-America team: merit. A list of the most talented offensive
players ever would have John Elway, Bo Jackson and Jerry Rice. No, my
team is made up of the players who did the most at the highest levels.
I'm not trying to fill a position; I'm going off what actually happened.He might not have been the prettiest
passer and other Nebraska quarterbacks ran for more touchdowns and more
Quarterback - Tommie Frazier, Nebraska
Two national titles and almost a third earns him the spot.
Frazier won and won and won.Grange's achievements were
remarkable averaging 5.3 yards per carry running for 2,071 yards,
catching 14 passes for 253 yards, and scoring a total of 31 touchdowns.
He also threw for 575 yards and three scores.
Runner-ups (in alphabetical order): Sammy Baugh, TCU; Matt
Leinart, USC; Vince Young, Texas
Running Backs - Red Grange, Illinois and Herschel Walker, Georgia
Ron Dayne just barely misses the cut (he is the all-time leader
in the game's glamour position), but there's no arguing with Grange and
Walker. Walker would currently be the all-time leading rusher if he had
stayed his senior year (and if his bowl stats counted in the mix) and
Grange was a transcendent player who carried the Illini from 1923 to
Runner-ups: Jim Brown, Syracuse; Ron Dayne, Wisconsin; Tony
Dorsett, Pitt; Archie Griffin, Ohio State; Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State
O.J. Simpson, USC;
Walker, SMU; Ricky Williams, Texas
Wide Receivers - Larry Fitzgerald, Pitt and Desmond Howard,
It's a hard category because the position has changed so much. There
simply weren't as many complete receivers twenty-plus years ago than
there are now. I have a hard time leaving Anthony Carter off the list,
but Howard and Fitzgerald were asked to do a bit more. Howard was a
touchdown machine in his Heisman winning season and Fitzgerald was
unstoppable (with the possible exception of the 2004 Miami game) no
matter how many were on him.
Runner-ups: Anthony Carter, Michigan; Don Hutson, Alabama;
Charles Rogers, Michigan State; Howard Twilley, Tulsa
Tight End - Keith Jackson, Oklahoma
Can you imagine what he would've done if OU ever threw the ball on a
regular basis? In his four year career, Jackson caught 62
passes for 1,470 yards and 14 touchdowns averaging an unbelievable 23.7
yards per catch. He also ran for a 88-yard touchdown as the Sooner
coaching staff started inventing ways to get the ball in his hands.
There's no real argument against Mike Ditka as one of the most complete
tight ends ever (and he played on the defensive line.).
Runner-ups: Mike Ditka, Pitt; Ted Kwalik, Penn State
Offensive Tackles - Orlando Pace, Ohio State and Bill Fralic,
It's a little debatable
where the term pancake block officially originated, but legend has it that the Pittsburgh
sports information department created it as a stat
for Fralic in his senior year for every time he put a defensive lineman on
his back. He was Pitt's only three-time All-American. Pace was so dominant
that the pancake block became an official stat. He didn't allow a sack
in his last two years in Columbus.
Runner-ups: George Connor, Notre Dame; Dan Dierdorf, Michigan;
Bob Gain, Kentucky; Leon Hart, Notre Dame; John Hicks, Ohio State; Ron
Offensive Guards - John Hannah, Alabama; Dean Steinkuhler,
You can reasonably debate all the other positions. Hannah and
Steinkuhler were slam-dunks. Along with being one of the greatest
offensive linemen ever, Hannah was one of the great college track
athletes and wrestlers as an SEC Champion in the discus and the shot put
holding the conference record in the indoor shot put. As a wrestler, he
was undefeated in the heavyweight division. Steinkuhler wasn't just big,
he was fast clocking in a 4.75 in the 40-yard dash. The Outland and
Lombardi winner led the way for Heisman winner Mike Rozier in 1983.
Runner-up: Brad Budde, USC
Center - Dave Rimington, Nebraska
Few players in college
football history, much less offensive linemen, were as honored or decorated
as Rimington winning two Outland Trophies, the Lombardi Award, the 1982 Big
8 Offensive Player of the Year, and three-time all-conference
selections. Equally as impressive was his skill in the classroom with a
3.25 GPA in economics as two-time, First-Team Academic All-America. He
finished fifth in the Heisman voting in 1982.
Runner-ups: Jim Richter, NC State; Alex Wojciechowicz, Fordham
The All-Time Offensive Team ...
: QB Roger Staubach, Navy
(1960-62) – Blessed with impeccable intangibles and physical
ability, Staubach was the consummate college quarterback. He didn’t
have the strongest arm, but did have a knack for making something
out of nothing and elevating the play of his teammates. Staubach
was a leader and a winner, which is precisely what every coach
craves behind center. Had he played closer to his Cincinnati roots
at, oh, Ohio State or Notre Dame, the casual fan might be more
familiar with his pre-Dallas Cowboy career.
RB Red Grange, Illinois (1923-25) – Arguably the greatest
player of all-time, the Babe Ruth of college football was a
pioneering offensive giant in an era when a 21-17 final was a
“shootout”. Much more than just a compiler of stats and three-time
All-American, Grange put football on the American sports map, and
achieved folk-hero status.
RB Jim Brown, Syracuse (1954-56) – With great reverence to
Herschel Walker, Doak Walker and a handful of other all-timers,
Brown was the kind of back that comes along once in a lifetime. A
reservoir of speed and raw force, he was a linebacker carrying the
football. Brown’s numbers don’t stack up in today’s era, but his
ability to demoralize a defense remains unmatched a half century
after leaving Upstate New York for the NFL.
WR Don Hutson, Alabama (1932-34) – Hutson’s a lot like
Grange, in that he revolutionized the position he played and for
decades set the standard by which others are judged. Ahead of his
time by more than half a century, the Alabama Antelope helped usher
in the passing game, which had previously been a last resort, with
his quickness and meticulous route running.
WR Anthony Carter, Michigan (1979-82) – The definition of a
home run hitter, Carter was the perfect complement to the Michigan
running game and one of the most combustible receivers to ever play
on Saturdays. A three-time All-American, he averaged almost 20
yards a catch and was always one block from going the distance as a
return man. Honorable mention goes to Jerry Rice, who hauled in 50
touchdown catches at Mississippi Valley State.
TE Keith Jackson, Oklahoma (1984-87) – Jackson was the
greatest pass-catching tight end of all-time…and he reached that
pinnacle in an offense that ran the option, a testament to his
greatest. He was a nightmare for defensive coordinators, too big
for safeties and too fast for linebackers, and was a far better run
blocker than his 23.7 career yards per catch might indicate.
OT Bill Fralic, Pittsburgh (1981-84) – Sporting a voracious
appetite for pancake blocks, Fralic let it be known early in his
career that he was going to be a historically great offensive
linemen. He started all four years with the Panthers, earning
All-American honors three times, twice on a consensus basis.
OG Jim Parker, Ohio State (1954-56) – As linemen go, few in
history could match Parker’s athleticism and agility. He had
tremendous feet and quickness, which allowed him make the transition
from defensive lineman early in his career to one of the most
technically sound and effective offensive lineman to ever put on
C Dave Rimington, Nebraska (1979-82) – In the football bible,
under center, there ought to be a photo of Rimington. He is the
embodiment of a center—tough, strong, quick and smart. Rimington
won just about every award a lineman could while in Lincoln, and now
has one named after him, which annually honors the nation’s top
OG John Hannah, Alabama (1970-72) – Much more than just a
mauler, Hannah was a gifted athlete with unparalleled fundamentals.
When he was pulling for the Tide it was lights out for any poor sap
that stepped into his path. Hannah was a two-time All-American in
Tuscaloosa, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame
two decades later.
The All-Time Offensive Team ...
QB – Doug Flutie, Boston College (1981 – 1984)
RB – Herschel Walker, Georgia (1980 – 1982)
RB – Ricky Williams, Texas (1995 – 1998)
AP – Reggie Bush, USC (2003 – 2005)
WR – Anthony Carter, Michigan (1979 – 1982)
WR – Larry Fitzgerald, Pitt (2002 – 2003)
TE – Keith Jackson, Oklahoma (1984 – 1987)
T – Orlando Pace, Ohio State (1994 – 1996)
T – Jonathon Ogden, UCLA (1992 – 1995)
G – Will Shields, Nebraska (1989 – 1992)
G – John Hannah, Alabama (1970 – 1972)
C – Dean Rimington, Nebraska (1979 – 1982)
QB – Matt Leinart, USC (2002 – 2005)
RB – OJ Simpson, USC (1967 – 1968)
RB – Jim Brown, Syracuse (1954 – 1956)
AP – Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska (1970 – 1972)
WR – Braylon Edwards, Michigan (2001 – 2004)
WR – Peter Warrick, FSU (1996 – 1999)
TE - Kellen Winslow II, Miami (2001 – 2003)
T – Tony Boselli, USC (1991 – 1994)
T – Bill Fralic, Pitt (1981 – 1984)
G – Dean Steinkuhler, Nebraska (1980 – 1983)
G – Brad Budde, USC (1976 – 1979)
C – Jim Ritcher, NC State (1976 – 1979)
Of course, everyone is going to have a strong
argument for his or her all-time team, but my thought process sort of
went like this
1. General ‘gut’ feel
3. Honors/All-America listings
4. Great career vs. one-year wonders
5. Who put the most pressure on defensive schemes.
6. How they would fit an offense that I was trying to run.
That last criteria was the deciding factor for only
a few guys on this list. Most of them were no-brainers, in a sense, but
when it came down to a few guys for a spot, I did take that into
account. Texas RB Ricky Williams is probably the perfect example. He
satisfied every item on the list and so too did OJ Simpson and/or Jim
Brown, but from a standpoint of fitting any and every role a running
back needed to play, Ricky did that and then some. His first two years
at UT, he was a fullback, while playing one of the greatest games he
ever played – against Nebraska in the Big XII championship upset win.
He carried it only a handful of times in the game, but his blocking was
superb all game long. Then, the next two years, his legs took over. I
think “complete” would be what I wanted and Ricky epitomized that to a
T, a UT if you will. Okay, sorry, that was a stretch.
Keith Jackson might be another one. His production
throughout his college years was less than what it should’ve been due to
having spent his career in OU’s wishbone offense. But, he could do
everything that’d you want a TE to do – he could dominate the point of
attack, he could stretch a team vertically, he had great hands and could
run after the catch. In essence, he was a complete player who would be
the ‘perfect fit’ for our ‘spread-option-no huddle-shotgun offense’,
also known as the Pea Shooter.
Flutie was my pick for all-time QB and that fits
well in our scheme. I wonder what Flutie would be like in the modern
spread/option attacks, made popular in 2000s. But, on the flip side, he
could’ve been a star had you put him in a single wing attack in the
1940’s. So, I think he fits that bill in the #1 QB spot without
The All-Time Offensive Team ...
Center: David Rimington,
Nebraska. The prolific nature of the Husker ground game in the early 80s
is worthy of all-time linemen (see Steinkuhler as well, the memorable
touchdown scorer on a fumblerooski in the 1984 Orange Bowl...)
Guards: Dean Steinkuhler, Nebraska; John Hannah,
Alabama. No one could assail Hannah's all-time credentials.
Tackles: Orlando Pace, Ohio State; Jonathan Ogden,
UCLA. These guys were flat-out dominant when they played college ball.
Pancakes served daily.
Tight End: Keith Jackson, Oklahoma. A dynamic
playmaker at the position on a run-first team, a key factor in the
Sooners' mid-80s ascendancy.
Quarterback: Tommie Frazier, Nebraska. The best
combination of leadership and production at the position, and therefore
the man who married the two forms of college quarterbacking greatness.
Fullback: William Floyd, Florida State. On a
fast-break team, the blue-collar guy whose fourth-down conversion in the
1994 Orange Bowl won Bobby Bowden his first national title. (Note: This
is if you demand that a classic "fullback" be on the roster. If you
don't demand a classic fullback, but instead think a "power running
back" should be here, plug in the legendary Jim Brown of Syracuse.)
Running back (tailback/breakaway back): Red
Grange, Illinois. Not only brilliant on the merits of his play, but the
man who saved, supported and supersized college football in the 1920s.
Wide receiver #1: Desmond Howard, Michigan. He
made plays in all sorts of situations... and with all sorts of bodily
contortions. As impressive a receiver as anyone at the college level.
Wide receiver #2: Michael Irvin, Miami. ESPN
shouldn't be employing his sorry behind, but that doesn't mean he wasn't
a noticeably imposing receiver for multiple Miami juggernauts in the
1980s. A formidable force at the flanker position.
Placekicker: Black kicking tee era: Kevin Butler,
Georgia. A 60-yard boot to beat Clemson was an all-time college football
moment in a decorated career.
Post-tee era: Nate Kaeding, Iowa. No one has had
the same combination of unerring accuracy and considerable distance that
Kaeding possessed in his career.