The Split-T is an offensive set featuring three running backs, and two tight ends to go along with the typical five offensive lineman and the quarterback.

The diagram below illustrates how players are often aligned in a base set. Please note that base formation is a coaching decision and will vary by program.

The Split-T, along with the option concept, was developed by Don Faurot in the 1940’s.


While there are some variations, the typical alignment of players for the Split-T are:

  1. Offensive Lineman – Guards take a 1-2 foot split from the Center and Tackles take a 2-3 foot split from the Guards. Alignment will vary based defensive alignment.
  2. Tigh Ends – Tight Ends will take a 2-4 foot split from the tackles. Alignment will vary based on defensive alignment.
  3. Quarterback – Under Center
  4. Half Backs – Tail Back’s are aligned 4 yards off the line of scrimmage, and will be 2 yards from the Fullback. Alignment is adjusted based on back speed, play call, blocking scheme, or defensive alignment.
  5. Fullback – The fullback alignment is traditionally 4 1/2 yards from the line of scrimmage. Fullback alignment will vary based on back speed, play call, blocking scheme, and defensive alignment.

The Split is the original formation used to run an option play. Don Faurot developed the option after watching a 2-1 fast break in a basketball game. His offensive system started a long tradition of dominance in the game that still exists with evolution’s such as the Flexbone and Spread Option that are popular in both college and high school programs all over the country.

Split-T teams also commonly use other formations in certain situations to either gain a numbers or leverage advantage over the defensive scheme they are facing. Modifications  will spread defenses out and give the offense a better ability to pass the football. Take a look at some of the other Split-T formations coaches can use.