It's no surprise that Texas A&M is a hot topic in the media right now. To the casual sports viewer it may seem like the fast paced offense has taken the SEC by storm this year, care of Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel's high octane offensive attack. But the traditionalist SEC fans need not be worried about the fast paced offense overrunning the way we do things around the SEC. The truth is the fast paced offense has come and gone in the SEC on more than one occasion and there is good a reason for that.
The Aggies use of the fast paced offense isn't even the first time it has been tried in the SEC with some success and it probably won't be the last. Florida did it some early on during Urban Myer's tenure there but later transitioned to a slower, more normal paced offense. Other SEC teams have tried it too with limited success. Even Alabama has gone with the fast paced approach from time to time in certain situations where it was appropriate. I remember Mark Ingram running it from the Wildcat against South Carolina late in their regular season game in 2009. There is no doubt that the fast paced offense can be and has been used effectively in the SEC when used on a limited basis in certain situations. But I question it's widespread use and the longevity of it's effectiveness if it is adopted as the exclusive offensive scheme for teams in the toughest defensive conference in the country.
The obvious problem for the fast paced offense is that a good defensive coach will eventually find flaws in the offensive scheme of any offense, no matter how complex and dynamic it may be. Once this happens those weaknesses can quickly render the fast paced offense as a liability instead of an asset by leaving the opponents defense exposed and vulnerable. The key is to send that fast paced offense back to the sideline just as fast as they run their plays by getting a quick stop. Then turn around and put a long, methodical drive together against the opposing defense. This works even better if you do it a couple times consecutively. Then the pressure and fatigue really starts to quickly wear down the opponents defense. So as effective as the fast paced offense may seem at times, there is nothing about it that can't be overcome with hard-nosed defense and good old-fashioned, ground-and-pound football.
I doubt Texas A&M will be able to continue their success with the fast paced offense for years to come in the SEC, even with Johnny Manziel at quarterback. The coaches around the SEC have already taken notice. It has taken some some time to get used to it for some SEC teams. Still teams like LSU, Florida, and Alabama were able to corral Johnny Manziel and the fast paced offense after awhile in their games against the Aggies. Once that happened, the fast paced offense was slowed to a trickle. Too bad for Alabama they didn't corral Manziel fast enough. Before the necessary adjustments were made, Johnny Manziel created a deficit that proved to be too much to overcome for the Crimson Tide in their first loss of the season. If Alabama had stuck to what they do best more often, which is run the ball, instead of going to the despiration passing game so soon; perhaps the outcome of the game would have been different. That is the strategy that seemed to work for LSU and Florida when they defeated the Aggies. They ran the ball, wore the Aggies defense down, and kept the offense off the feild. That is the best possible strategy for beating a fast paced offense and it has proven to be effective time and time again.
Keep this in mind. The SEC didn't come to be the most dominat conference in college football by jumping on board with every fad that comes along in the game of football. For the most part it was plain old football, played the traditional way, that made it happen. So rest assured that the SEC is not going to turn into the next Big 12 or PAC 12 on the offensive side of the ball. Traditional, power football will rule the day in the SEC. The fast paced offense is like the wild and wacky uniforms that keep popping up all over college football. It's just a passing fad that will lose it's appeal over time once the shine and sparkle of it has faded into history along with its effectivness.