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Football References

JSU Zack

How do I IT?

I've come across a few useful links over the past few days for folks who are looking to build "their" offense. Many of these links are useful for folks that just roll with a default playbook, but this thread is specifically targeted to folks who want to build their own playbook.

Eventually, this thread will be used to house all the sources we use in the other strategy threads. Feel free to share you thoughts & resources here.

Creating an Offensive Philosophy
One of the first parts of almost any playbook is the Philosophy section. Even thought these typically come at the beginning of a playbook, and should set the tone for the rest of the offense, they are often overlooked and feel tacked on. In my opinion, that is a big mistake. This part of your playbook sets the tone and lays out the road map of your team’s success.
Setting Goals
Goals should be an important part of everyone’s life, but many people never sit down to explore and develop their goals. Goals can give you a long-term plan that allows you to have a vision for the future. They also give you short term focus and motivation for what needs to be done now.
Play Call Procedures
The link above isn't very useful in the video game world, but it's great for new coaches.

Playbook/Scheme Sites
These sites are a dime a dozen, but you won't see any "Madden Glitch Offense" articles. These are legitimate football sites designed by and for real coaches.

Chris Hatcher 2000 Valdosta State Playbook: The Hatch Attack is now at UAB, but it started at VSU with the grandfather of the Air Raid, Hal Mumme.

Mike Leach's '99 OU Playbook: Not quite the Pirate we know and love today, but this is a great playbook for anyone who wants to pass first but have the ability to run at will.

John Grass' '01 Hoover Playbook: Grass, a member of the Rush Propst coaching tree, built a dynasty at Hoover before he made the jump to Jacksonville State. In two seasons at JSU, he has a 23-3 record, two Ohio Vally Conference titles, and the best start for any FCS coach in history.

The Hurry-Up, No-Huddle: Gus Malzahn's book leaves as many questions as it does answers, but for riders on the Gus Bus, start here. Added bonuses in the book include practice organization and playcalling processes.

SmartFootball: Chris B. Brown, a Grantland writer and author, is the frontman for football strategy from a fan's perspective. His books, The Essential Smart Football and The Art of Smart Football, are must reads for anyone who wants to start understanding the game on a micro level. His books and site include film analysis, playbooks, and interviews with the men who made football what it is and what it's going to be.

James Light: An assistant at Michigan prep powerhouse Macomb Dakota, Light has a ton of knowledge of the game at large but specifically pro style offenses. His live analysis of games on Twitter is better than most commentators on television. Light's site is a game film goldmine, so much so that Auburn's coaching staff tried to take his site down - and did - for a short period of time.

Football Study Hall: The lovechild of numbers nerd Bill Connelly, Football Study Hall is SB Nation's sabermetrics site. If you're a neckbeard like me, you value Connelly's stats gathering and analysis-based rankins more than the opinions of the playoff committee.

NY_Kia31: A member of the old guard when we were still NCAAStrategies.com, NY_Kia31 has a lot of great videos on YouTube explaining what it means to play "sim football" in the NCAA & Madden games. His Twitter and Twitch feeds are pretty good. "Kia" was the first source that got me into studying offenses long ago.

Eleven Warrios: 11W is an Ohio State fan site and great resource for advances in the spread's arsenal. Also, their website design game is on point.

CougCenter: SB Nation's Brian Anderson is the X's & O's guru for CougCenter, the Wazzu fan site. Warning: These are pirate waters.

BuckSweep.com: Brian Schaumloffel's site is a great resource for old-school offense. He's one of the best at explaining the constraint theory of offense, the foundation of the Wing T.

Flexbone Academy: For option fans, this is a great place to start.


Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
Would also add a few more:

College & Magnolia X's and O's: Auburn site on SBNation similar to Eleven Warriors with a lot of good Malzahn stuff. Have to search

Shakin' the Southland: Same thing, but for Clemson. That is the main Offensive Strategy page, but for the core background links about the Chad Morris/Gus Malzahn system just click here as all the links are on one page: Chad Morris Links.

Gus Malzahn Playbook (Tulsa): Full Gus Malzahn playbook, including the installation materials I used in my Spread-I. Via James Light (link above).

Auburn (Malzahn) Offense Cut-Ups (YouTube Playlist): Older cut-ups from Malzahn's first time at Auburn as OC, but you get the gist of the offense and get All-22 views of it.

Trojan Football Analysis: Nebraska Running Game (Osborne Era): 8 part breakdown of the mid-90s Osborne era Nebraska run game, broken down by blocking type, includes both diagrams and game tape. The diagrams come straight from the Nebraska playbook, which can be found here (PDF).

Noel Mazzone Passing Game Playbook (NZone): Link goes to a Scribd page, but should give the option to download as PDF. If not, I have a copy and can upload. For more Mazzone stuff, I'd recommend this article from Brophy as well as all the articles with the Mazzone tag. James Light also has some very good Mazzone stuff on his site, again, linked above.

Bruce Eien Passing Game (YouTube Playlist): 25 video playlist from Bruce Eien himself breaking down every one of his pass concepts, the reads and adjustments to them. Very nice resource for understanding how to identify and read basic pass concepts, most of which exist in NCAA.

MTD Film Library (YouTube): Not recently updated but quite a few live game cutups, including some offensive snaps only clips for Clemson, Oregon and Auburn.

NoonKick: Full games from this and previous college football seasons, organized by week. Includes FCS Playoffs. Not an X's and O's resource, but if you're looking for full games for a certain team, here is where they are.

Pro Football Strategy (Alex Kirby): Blog with a lot of individual play breakdowns, mainly focused on the NFL but also does college stuff. Alex Kirby has written books about both Chip Kelly's offense and Auburn's offense which can be downloaded via Kindle.

Somewhere around here I have copies of all of Urban Meyer's playbooks, but I can't seem to find the direct links and I don't have the files on this computer. Will try to find them and upload them if I can't find the direct links to the PDF.

Will add things as I come across them.

JSU Zack

How do I IT?
That's the first time I've seen a legit Malzahn playbook. Holy crap, his passing game is Wing T to the core. Basically the waggle pass, shallow, sail, and stick concepts.


Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
That's the first time I've seen a legit Malzahn playbook. Holy crap, his passing game is Wing T to the core. Basically the waggle pass, shallow, sail, and stick concepts.
Yeah I love that thing. I mean my Spread-I is Malzahn to its core, at least as much as I can replicate it in NCAA. It is just as simple as it gets. It is legitimately Wing T football taken to the spread gun. He isn't reinventing the wheel at all there, I'd say he's actually reverting to stone age wheels, just rolling them really damn fast.

I really want to find my Urban Meyer playbooks from BGSU and Utah because it is always interesting to compare and contrast them to guys like Malzahn and Kelly. The moving parts are more or less the same, how they are put together is what makes each unique.

Everyone should check out that Shakin' the Southland "Chad Morris Links" link. More or less goes for Malzahn as well. Just covers each basic concept, run and pass and does it in a simple non-coach speak way so anyone can get it easily.


Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
Found some PDF links to Urban Meyer's stuff:

Urban Meyer Florida Playbook (2006)

Urban Meyer Utah Playbook (2004)

Urban Meyer Bowling Green Playbook, Partial (2002)

Another few references that are a bit more on the technical side (drills, etc):

X and O Labs YouTube Channel (Mike Kuchar): X and O Labs is a website for coaches that has guest reports about individual concepts or drills. Most of it is subscription, but the YouTube Channel is not and has some good lab reports, especially from lower level programs. My personal favorites being his stuff on unbalanced run game from both Florida, Boise and Stanford.

Marrying the Downhill Run Game with the Spread from Pistol - Powerpoint (James Vint): Vint is a HS coach down in Lubbock and has been one of the leading Pistol minds at that level. He's got some books out and a few different clinic presentations, this is a Powerpoint that just details the philosophy and plays. A lot of what I did in Pistol is based on this stuff. Fairly technical, but good for ideas.

Ski-Gun YouTube Playlist: Cut-ups of the Ski-Gun Pistol Triple Option offense, really interesting to see it in action. Not sure there is a way to implement it fully in game but for those of you banging your head against the wall trying to make Flexbone work in game, take a look at this stuff and see if you can make it work in Pistol with a lot less stress.

2007 Tulsa (Graham/Malzahn) Clinic Cut-ups:

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JSU Zack

How do I IT?
I've seen Meyer's books before, and they're pretty vanilla. It's evolved so much since he went to tOSU.

James Vint's stuff is good.

JSU Zack

How do I IT?
More Kiffin goodness by way of Oregon & Baylor. These plays attack Quarters by taking the outside DB's out of the play.

Also in the Smart Football post, Oregon's Y Cross with a bubble tag.

And the Kiffin version.

Oregon's Switch Verts (Bunch Seattle most closely resembles this)