Stanford, Oklahoma lead 10 best offenses in college football

With the regular season in the books, Gordon McGuinness ranks the 10 best offenses we saw on the field in 2015.

| 10 months ago
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Stanford, Oklahoma lead 10 best offenses in college football

After breaking down the top 10 defenses in college football earlier this week, we’re digging into our wealth of data and grading to now bring you the top 10 offenses in the nation.

  1. Stanford Cardinal

They boast the best offensive player in the nation in do-it-all superstar Christian McCaffrey (+43.1) at running back, but he’s not the only player worth talking about on the Stanford offense. Four of their five starters on the offensive line have a positive grade, with guard Joshua Garnett (+38.3) standing out as arguably the best offensive lineman in the nation, and a perfect fit for their power running scheme. A big improvement from quarterback Kevin Hogan (+23.5) saw him finish the year as our 20th-highest graded quarterback.

  1. Oklahoma Sooners

With the nation’s highest-graded quarterback in Baker Mayfield (+52.9) at the helm, the Sooners were always going to be high on this list. It’s not all about the top signal caller in the country though, with wide receiver Sterling Shepard (+30.8) the highest graded receiver, and two impressive running backs in Samaje Perine (+16.1) and Joe Mixon (+15.0).

  1. Baylor Bears

They put up points for fun for much of the season and, though they ended up going all the way down to their fourth string quarterback through injury, were one of the most exciting offenses in the nation. Quarterbacks Seth Russell (+21.7) and Jarrett Stidham (+17.8) both graded very well despite playing less than 500 snaps, with wide receiver Corey Coleman (+19.2) third in the nation averaging 3.86 yards per route run.

  1. Michigan State Spartans

Another team who have made it to the College Football Playoff, the Spartans offense has impressed for much of the year, despite an up and down season for quarterback Connor Cook (+29.3). It was about balance for the Spartans offense, and they got help in that regard thanks to one of the best receivers in the nation in Aaron Burbridge (+24.6) and one of the best left tackles around in Jack Conklin (+34.4). Conklin excels blocking at the second level, and will help their running game in the College Football Playoff.

  1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

An offense that could have been even better were it not for the injury to quarterback Malik Zaire (+7.1) in the season opener, Notre Dame still impressed with backup DeShone Kizer (+13.9) having an up and down season. Their top four receivers all graded at +4.7 or higher, with Will Fuller (+10.6) the best of the bunch. That being said, Fuller could have graded even higher if not for his 10 drops.

  1. TCU Horned Frogs

Their offense got derailed somewhat when quarterback Trevone Boykin (+38.0) got hurt, but they were another Big 12 offense which impressed in 2015. Aswell as Boyking, they had wide receiver Josh Doctson (+25.6), who led the nation averaging 3.94 yards per route run, while three of their five starting offensive linemen finishes the year with a positive grade.

  1. North Carolina Tar Heels

They came up just short in the ACC Championship game against Clemson, but the North Carolina offense had a good year overall in 2015. Every receiver who played at least 100 snaps finished the year with a positive grade, while running back Elijah Hood (+20.3) had one of the more underrated seasons at running back. Quarterback Marquise Williams (+20.3) didn’t excel as a passer, but he was one of the best running quarterbacks in the nation.

  1. Cincinnati Bearcats

They don’t play the same level of talent as the teams above them, at least on a consistent basis, but there’s a lot to like about the Cincinnati Bearcats offense. Quarterback Gunner Kiel (+22.1) had one of the best three game stretches we saw from a quarterback all year in the games against Central Florida, Houston and Tulsa. Only one wide receiver who played more than 100 snaps finished the year with a negative grade, while Shaq Washington (+27.9) was our 2nd highest graded player at the position.

  1. Bowling Green Falcons

The boast quarterback Matt Johnson (+45.2), tied for second highest graded player at the position, who threw for 1,577 yards with 18 touchdowns and one interception on passes 20 yards or more downfield. It wasn’t all about Johnson though, with every starting offensive lineman finishing the year with a positive grade as a run blocker and a solid running back in Travis Greene (+17.8).

  1. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Tied with Johnson as our second highest graded quarterback was Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty (+45.2). With the highest adjusted accuracy percentage in the nation, Doughty led the Hilltoppers offense to an impressive year but he wasn’t alone in standing out. Wide receiver Taywan Taylor (+23.9) was our 9th highest graded player at the position, while left tackle Forrest Lamp (+39.5) had the highest grade amongst all offensive tackles.

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • bigtrip

    So Michigan St. that averages just 397 yds per game is a top 4 offense in CFB according to PFF. That’s less yards per game than Miami, Louisville, and Alabama. Yet, Clemson who averages over 500 yds per game is not listed. This kind of crazy stuff is why many feel these PFF grades are a complete hoax.

  • Jason Hackler

    It’s only a “hoax” when your team/school isn’t listed. It’s just a list, no reason to be offended.

    • bigtrip

      I’m not offended, just making an observation that the production of the offense comes no where near the grading of the offense. This would make most people question the grading process or possibly tweak it to add more weight to certain positions when grading an overall offense. Michigan St’s offensive production isn’t even top 30 in the country, no way should they grade out at #4.

  • Tulsa Terry

    Excellent rankings that ignore the eastern media bias

  • Rick Dyer

    Is this a joke? What happened to offensive measures like scoring, total yards, etc.?Article seems to be mis-labeled. Should be “Which offenses have the most really good players”. And I see there is no “by-line”. I’m not surprised.