College Football is back! It’s time to get ready for four months of tailgating, touchdowns and camaraderie. But, in addition to all the fun, there is something we can learn from college football and apply to our Alpha’s operations.
For decades college football was a sport dominated by running plays. The forward pass was an afterthought as schools like Notre Dame and Army dominated with their powerful running attacks. Consequently, the teams with the biggest and strongest offensive and defensive lines won the most games. But, as football grew in popularity and more people wanted to play, smaller teams needed a way to compete. There had to be a way to win at football without having the biggest, strongest players and best running backs.
Fast forward to the late 1990s. Teams like Northwestern and Texas Tech begin using ‘spread offenses’ to level the playing field and compete with perennial powers like Ohio State, Michigan, Texas and Oklahoma. Spread offenses line up with receivers spread sideline to sideline, creating a lot of space for smaller, faster players to run and receive passes. Bigger, stronger teams had trouble adjusting to these wide-open, fast-paced offenses; systemic change ensued.
In 2010, virtually every team in America runs some variation of a spread offense. This can all be traced back to the little guys who found a way to compete. Instead of lining up in the power-I and trying to run the ball against physically superior opponents, they changed the game and played one they could win.
Some of our Alphas struggle to compete during ‘recruitment’ with the big boys on their campus, thinking that because of less alumni support, smaller budgets or not-as-nice Lodges, they cannot compete with the big fraternities on their campus. If you are one of those Alphas, you are correct. If you can’t compete at that game, there is a solution — PLAY A DIFFERENT GAME. Develop your equivalent of a spread offense.
If your Alpha is struggling during the university’s sponsored recruitment period, I would encourage you to play a different game. Don’t get caught up in comparing social calendars and fraternity houses. Play a different game. Start with relationships like Br. Taylor told you to do.
During my visit to Alpha Xi Delta at Texas Tech, an Alpha of 17 men and no Lodge, we decided to ‘eat a bunch of lunches.’ Over the course of two days, rotations of Brothers joined me at their student union. Our mission? Make some friends over a meal.The Brothers quickly learned that making new friends was possible. One new friend at a time was all it would take to help grow their Alpha. The Brothers have decided to implement their own spread offense. They plan to spread their Brothers across campus by implementing ‘lunch teams’ where Brothers will have certain days they will go to their Union and make friends. I’m excited to see how this impacts their fall recruitment numbers.
(CHALLENGE: Go to your nearest food court or dining hall TODAY. Count the number of people sitting by themselves, guy or girl. Go grab a bite to eat and pick someone to sit with. Make a new friend. If you go in a group of friends, invite someone to come sit with you.)
I’ll leave you with a video that highlights Texas Tech, a spread offense and the best game of the 2008 college football season.
So what do you think? Could a spread offense help your Alpha?