I wonder how much of Borges' preference for a "feature back" was really due to the lack of depth in the position at Michigan? Or said another way, is there evidence to suggest in Borges' other coaching stops that he preferred a single back even when he had depth?What's more common, on the whole, across college football -- feature back or tandem backs? I've not done any research on it, but it strikes me the feature back is more common.
The general impression I've gotten is that like the NFL, feature backs were the staple in the '90s and early last decade, but the trend is drifting towards committee backs.
>> "the trend is drifting towards committee backs"I wonder why that is? What I hear is that committee backs provides a fresh set of legs. I imagine another benefit is insurance: one back is dinged up and the other is available to continue. But is there enough difference in styles that committee backs create a challenge for defenses? Or do defenses see one back pretty much like any other back?I ask because in general my philosophy -- amateur that I am -- is that if you have two decent backs (Michigan: Green and Smith), use 'em. I don't see any reason to run one (Green) 30 plays a game and have the other (Smith) just ride pine. The only reason I can see to do that would be if more reps *truly* translated into better running ... then the objective is one *great* back rather than two merely good backs.
No joke, I think scholarship limits have something to do with it in college. In the NFL, it's due to shorter careers for running backs.The "hot hand" philosophy has been going for a while. If you have multiple backs, I agree with you...use them both, and if one is "hotter" one game, use him more.I would think that defenses see every back more or less the same, save for pass-protection specialists. But with different-style backs, one may be able to exploit specific defensive weaknesses more than another despite the defense treating them the same.