A pretty good article on ESPN.com today about the history and evolution of the spread offense. Or, to be more accurate, the evolution of spread offenses, since there are many flavors of the spread.
Given all the debate on this blog about the spread (mainly fueled by crazidawg's dislike and dismissal of it), I thought this was an interesting read.
To me, it's pretty clear that spread offenses aren't really a fad, but an evolution. It's not the only way to succeed offensively, but it can be a very effective one, and has been proven to be one that championships can be won with versions of the spread (Florida, Texas).
I'm not going to argue that spread offenses are the only way to go in modern college football - I think the variety of offenses that defenses have to face makes each of them more effective in their own right - but they certainly have a place in the game, and unless the rules are changed in a significant way, I think spread offenses (in various guises) will be continue to be successful.
It will be interesting to see how defenses evolve to solve the spread, and whether the number of teams utilizing spread offenses and defenses designed to stop them will help teams like the UW and USC that run pro-style attacks.
Here's the article: Mark Schlabach on the history of the spread