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Jim Mora: ‘Spread Teams Have Never Won A National Championship’

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According to Jim Mora, “spread teams have never won a national championship.” The UCLA coach must not have watched much football outside of Westwood over the past decade.


UCLA head coach Jim Mora should go ahead and purchase his SID a gift basket right now, because that poor soul is going to have some PR spinning to do. On Thursday, when discussing UCLA’s hiring of offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Jedd Fisch, Mora mentioned that he didn’t talk to any candidates that run a spread offense.

“I didn’t really talk to anyone that runs a spread,” Mora said. “As far as I know, spread teams have never won a national championship.”

Mora’s not wrong. Well, not if you discount Urban Meyer’s three titles. Or the offense that Lane Kiffin brought to Tuscaloosa that won a championship last year. Or the title Auburn won with Cam Newton running Gus Malzahn’s offense.

Chip Kelly’s spread offense at Oregon only made a title game. Same with Mark Helfrich’s. And Clemson’s offense last year. And that Auburn team that lost to FSU in the final BCS Championship Game. Always the bridesmaid, those spread guys.

Snarkiness aside, the sentiment from Mora was there: he prefers to run a pro-style offense. Before he was hired at UCLA, the Bruins ran the pistol offense, a variation of the spread, under Rick Neuheisel. It largely failed. Up until this past season, Mora has employed a more traditional offensive approach that had yielded plenty of success. It fits with the types of players he recruits – like Josh Rosen, whom many consider one the top quarterbacks in the game.

But still, no championships? That’s a misstep for a coach who is too often an easy target that exhibits no shortage of hubris.

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