Jim Mora has struggled to get his team to live up to expectations at UCLA over the past two seasons. Now his offensive unit will be under the direction of its third coordinator in three years, with the addition of Michigan passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch. Fisch’s specialty is in a pro-style system, similar to the one the Bruins tried to run in 2016. When asked if he considered possibly going toward more of a spread system, Mora had a puzzling answer.
Mora said he didn’t reach out to any spread offensive coordinators for the following reason:
Um…what? Jim, have you watched college football since the early 90s? Let’s just run down a list of the teams that have won national titles running a dedicated spread offense:
Oklahoma in 2000
Florida in 2006
Florida in 2008
Auburn in 2010
Ohio State in 2014
Florida State also won the title in 2013 using some modified spread elements to assist quarterback Jameis Winston and in 2005 Texas ran a zone read scheme that had spread elements with Vince Young under center. Meanwhile, Oregon (2010, 2014), Clemson (2015, 2016), Ohio State (2007), Oklahoma (2003, 2004, 2008) and Notre Dame (2012) all reached the national championship game while deploying spread systems.
It’s crazy that Mora was so quick to dismiss the spread, especially given his time seeing it up close in the Pac-12 during his time at UCLA. In his five years in charge of the Bruins, Mora is winless against Oregon, has lost twice to Mike Leach’s Washington State team, three times against Todd Graham and Arizona State and lost to Sonny Dykes’ Cal team to end the 2016 season. His team also got run out of the Holiday Bowl by Art Briles’ Baylor team in 2012. Clearly the spread works when going up against Mora’s defenses. Maybe he doesn’t watch game film? Or maybe he just doesn’t actually watch college football.
This is a ridiculous stance from Mora that shows he’s completely out of touch with the college game. If he said “we’re trying to be more like Alabama” or something like that, it would be completely understandable. But to totally dismiss the spread like it hasn’t been the backbone of a ton of title contenders (and winners) is hilariously wrong.