After reading Kyle's piece on the rushing attack after the return of Hyde, I started thinking: with a stable of good running backs, an excellent blocking fullback and a running quarterback, you've got the sort of personnel that could go old school and run the wishbone. Of course, that doesn't quite fit in with the spread philosophy- so, I started thinking if this was A) Possible, and B) a good idea. I then found out Chip Kelly beat me to the punch:
Some notable parts from the video:
1) It's not a true "Wishbone" operation. The FB is lined up as an H-Back.
1A) Oregon does not use a TE, but instead splits two men out.
2) The team comes out of the huddle in an offset pistol formation.
3) The second HB, lined up in the slot, motions into a wishbone-style alignment.
4) This becomes the basis for an option attack, much like the old formation.
5) Play action is pretty dangerous out of this formation, with two WRs.
6) You get a lead blocker, wich the spread doesn't get to use as often.
This sort of alignment does seem to offer some advantages. It allows you to run a triple option attack, using an RB to both dive and get to the edge as a pitch man. Because it relies on motion, you can attempt to confuse the defense. You could also call the formation as an audible, and either run one play with a man in the slot, or run the wishbone attack with motion, depending on the front you see. In fact, you could run the full bevy of wishbone plays given some time to scheme and install them. The big advantage, it seems to me, that this allows us to put two of our good running backs on the field at once, especially if we use a speedier back like hall and a bigger back like Hyde. If you combine that with Braxton in a triple option, you're giving the defense a serious problem, since all of those are good players- and, you can run either the dive or the option as power, sending Boren in to block, or run the whole thing as misdirection, running to the weak side as Boren keeps the cutback open...
It's something I was pondering, since no one comes to my office hours and I can just think about football instead of work, and wonder what other people thought.