BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -Lamenting the demise of defense in college football? Get used to it.
Some coaches in the high-octane Big 12, with its ridiculously rich crop of talented young quarterbacks and four of the top eight teams in the country, say there's been a fundamental shift in the game and the pendulum might never swing back.
Five-hundred-yard games are becoming the norm.
``It's out of control. We're having to change the way we look at defensive stats just because everybody is scoring so many points,'' Texas coach Mack Brown said. ``I remember the day when we would try to keep from scoring 60 points because we felt like that was really bad. And now you're seeing 70s.
``So, I don't know where it's going to stop, but people are just running up and down the field and scoring a lot of points. And it's fun for the fans, but those defensive coordinators are pulling their hair out.''
The transformation isn't just taking place on college campuses but it's also seen on the recruiting trail across the country.
``They used to take all the best players, particularly here in Texas, they took all the top players and always put them on defense. And now, because of the emergence of the 7-on-7 that goes on all summer long - it's like the AAU basketball - they just keep playing and playing and playing. And those kids, they enjoy playing offense and scoring points as opposed to keeping people from scoring points.''
There's still some stingy defenses round the country, but, considering all the variations of the no-huddle, spread offenses, are dominant defenses going out of fashion?
``I don't know, I think time's going to tell,'' Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. ``I mean, so many people are running no-huddle. When we started running it four years ago, I don't think there were five or 10 BCS teams in the nation running it. Now, everybody's running it.
``Will defenses catch up? They generally do. But there's not just 'a' spread offense out there. You can run the option out of the spread offense, people are now running the 'I' formation out of the spread offense. ... It's certainly, I think, great for college football.''
Baylor coach Art Briles compared today's effectiveness of the spread styles to those of the veer offenses in the 1970s and '80s.
now,'' Briles said.
In the Big 12 and elsewhere, defenses just don't rule the day anymore.
``It doesn't gall me,'' said Oklahoma home Bob Stoops, who cut his teeth on defense. ``It's just different challenges.''
But this isn't Arena League Football just yet, he cautioned.
``I think at times even this year you'll see defenses that have their good days ... or periods of games that change games,'' Stoops said. ``I don't think anybody ever has a stronghold for good on anything. Defenses will continue to match up and be able to handle it.
``But I don't see quarterbacks going away, either,'' Stoops quickly added. ``I'm sure everybody has young quarterbacks coming up that are also skilled and good players. So, defenses will have to rise to the occasion, because I don't think it will go away.''
TWO-HEADED QB: Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, who pulled the redshirt off mobile freshman quarterback Tyler Hansen last week, said he's going to stick with a quarterback rotation with son Cody Hawkins continuing to share snaps.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, whose team hosts Colorado on Saturday, had quarterback Chase Daniel share snaps with his predecessor, Brad Smith, in 2005.
ms of what he can bring to their team. And he came in the other day and did very well. He runs the ball well, very athletic.
``You're actually preparing for two quarterbacks rather than one.''
That poses problems not only for opponents but the Buffaloes, as well.
``There's no manual for it, that's for sure,'' Dan Hawkins said. ``The great thing is those kids are handling it great. It's not an issue there and they want to win and we'll just keep monkeying with it and try to get some points on the board and win some games.''
WE-FENSE: Kansas State leads the nation with seven blocked kicks in seven games, and it's no coincidence that coach Ron Prince put an emphasis on special teams when he arrived in Manhattan.
Prince doesn't even call them his special teams, but the ``we-fense,'' which shows he holds these units in equal esteem with his offense and defense.
It started with Raheem Morris, who was the Wildcats' defensive coordinator in 2006, Prince's first year at Kansas State, before returning to the NFL and rejoining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as defensive backs coach.
is the one time where everybody on the team is going to get a chance to play together.''
Prince figured the Wildcats could make progress by leaps and bounds quicker in the kicking game than anywhere else.
``The top priority for us coming in here was to establish ourselves as very good special teams organization,'' Prince said. ``We felt that in the short-term, one of the ways for us to get on the map and win some games and perhaps in the short-term be able to play a very exciting style and make some things happen would be in the kicking game while we were still learning our offensive and defensive systems.''

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