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2011 CFN Preview - Unit Rankings, O Lines
Ole Miss OT Bobby Massie
Ole Miss OT Bobby Massie
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 16, 2011


CFN 2011 Preview Unit Rankings from top to bottom - Offensive Lines


Preview 2011 - Unit Rankings

Offensive Lines


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2011 CFN Preseason Rankings
 
1 to 5 | 6 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50
51 to 60 | 61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120

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CFN 2011 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams  
- Preview 2011 | 2010 Unit Rankings

Note: This is based on talent, returning starters, and skill. It’s not necessarily based on what the final total offense statistics will be.

1. Ole Miss
Years of fantastic recruiting for the offensive front from the former coaching staff paid off last year, and now the results should be special. Partly because the offense didn’t throw on a regular basis and partly because Jeremiah Masoli was mobile, but the pass protection was strong and the front five paved the way for a great year from the ground game. With most of the key parts returning, there’s reason to be excited. Bradley Sowell and Bobby Massie are terrific tackles to work around, and the interior isn’t anything to blow off. With bulk, experience, and talent, expect a special year for the team’s biggest strength.

2. Oklahoma State
There’s only one true star up front, OT Levi Adcock, but this is one of the most consistently productive and most experienced lines in the country. The Cowboy skill players get all the credit and all the spotlight, but this line could be the team’s biggest strength – fine, so second biggest behind the receiving corps, The only concern is backup experience. If a slew of big injuries hit, there might be problem with its consistency.

3. Missouri
Missouri always has a strong, talented offensive line, but it didn’t do as much as expected in pass protection last year and didn’t blast away like it needed to for the ground game. Four starters return with center Tim Barnes the only one gone from the mix, and now the expectations are sky high for a front five that should be dominant from the start, and is should be fine even with star tackle Elvis Fisher suffering a knee injury. Travis Ruth has been around long enough to know what he’s doing, while the other four starters have been through the wars and should be able to shine. Not only is this group full of veterans, but it also has a slew of all-conference performers in the classroom. There shouldn’t be too many mistakes, if any.

4. Wisconsin
This isn’t going to be the killer line it was last year, but it’s not going to be all that far off. Travis Frederick and Ricky Wagner will be great on the left side with a little bit of time, and Peter Konz is one of the best centers in America and is a huge piece of the puzzle to get back. Anything the line can get out of Josh Oglesby would be nice, and if it all finally comes together, look out. Don’t hold your breath, but there are more than enough massive blockers to see time in the rotation.

5. Kentucky
The line ended up being a positive for the offense as the season went on. With a standstill quarterback in Mike Hartline to protect, the Cats finished second in the SEC in sacks allowed and did a decent job for a running game that averaged 159 yards per game. For all intents and purposes, five starters are back on the line that held together relatively well last season. Considering experience was supposed to be a major problem last year, everything turned out fine. If everyone stays healthy, this should be a rock of a front wall working around the massive Larry Warford and veteran left guard Stuart Hines..

6. Alabama
Andre Smith left, and James Carpenter stepped in and was terrific. Carpenter is gone, and now it’s time for Barrett Jones, William Vlachos, and D.J. Fluker to become even more dominant blockers. There’s too much talent at all five spots, and there’s too much depth, for this to not grow into one of the nation’s best lines. Not only do four starters return, but many of the backups have had enough starting time to be ready to step in if needed. McCullough and Steen can play, and Boswell and Love are ready to do more.

7. Stanford
The largely unsung heroes of the program’s offensive success over the last two seasons, the line has been a fortress on the Farm. Although the unit is being remade in the wake of the graduations of center Chase Beeler, LG Andrew Phillips, and RT Derek Hall, hope can be found in the lone returning starters, David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin, both of whom earned a spot on the All-Pac-10 first team.

8. Florida State
While you don’t get better by losing OG Rodney Hudson and C Ryan McMahon, Florida State retains enough key parts to put together a strong front five. The margin for error, however, is considerably smaller than it was last fall. The keys will be staying healthy and getting Jacob Fahrenkrug assimilated as fast as possible. If those two hurdles can be cleared, the ‘Noles will again boast one of the ACC’s better blocking units. The tackles are seniors, with NFL ceilings, and the interior linemen do a nice job of sealing off the pass rush. Add in the athletic ability of new QB E.J. Manuel, and there shouldn't be too many sacks allowed.

9. Iowa
As always, the Iowa offensive line was good, but it wasn’t special. This year it could be terrific with enough starters returning to be very cohesive and even more consistent. The pass protection was solid allowing 20 sacks and was decent for the ground game, but the production wasn’t there on a consistent basis. Expect that to change and consider it a shock if this isn’t the best part of the offense by far. Tackle Riley Reiff is a sure-thing star to work around and will be a multi-millionaire whenever he’s ready to jump to the next level, and center James Ferentz is a rising star who’ll be a First Team All-Big Ten performer. There are great pieces in place.

10. Miami
The good news along the offensive line is that nearly everyone is back from a front wall that played very well last season. The concern is at left tackle, where massive all-star Orlando Franklin leaves an enormous void. If he can be replaced without there being a wicked backlash, the Hurricanes will once again boast one of the ACC’s more effective blocking units. Regardless of who starts the season, Miami will harbor a massive front wall that’s capable of bullying opposing fronts off the line of scrimmage. Almost half of the current two-deep tips the Toledos at no less than 320 pounds, a key factor in last year’s improved ground game. Brandon Washington is one of the nation's best guards.

COULD EASILY BE IN TOP TEN

BYU Ind
LSU SEC
Northern Illinois MAC
Notre Dame Ind
Ohio State Big Ten
Oregon Pac-12
Purdue Big Ten
Texas Tech Big 12

SOLID, WILL BE A POSITIVE

Arizona State Pac-12
Auburn SEC
Baylor Big 12
Boise State M-West
Boston College ACC
California Pac-12
Clemson ACC
Connecticut Big East
Florida SEC
Georgia SEC
Georgia Tech ACC
Illinois Big Ten
Michigan Big Ten
Mississippi State SEC
Nebraska Big Ten
Nevada WAC
North Carolina ACC
Northwestern Big Ten
Oklahoma Big 12
Penn State Big Ten
Pitt Big East
Syracuse Big East
Tennessee SEC
Texas Big 12
Texas A&M Big 12
USC Pac-12
Utah   Pac-12
Virginia Tech ACC
Wake Forest ACC
West Virginia Big East

AVERAGE

Air Force M-West
Arizona Pac-12
Arkansas SEC
Cincinnati Big East
Colorado   Pac-12
Fresno State WAC
Indiana  Big Ten
Iowa State Big 12
Kansas Big 12
Kansas State Big 12
Louisiana Tech WAC
Louisville  Big East
Maryland  ACC
Michigan State Big Ten
Minnesota Big Ten
Navy ind
NC State ACC
Ohio   MAC
Oregon State Pac-12
Rutgers  Big East
San Diego State M-West
SMU C-USA
South Carolina SEC
South Florida Big East
TCU M-West
Tulsa C-USA
UAB C-USA
UCLA  Pac-12
Vanderbilt SEC
Virginia   ACC
Washington   Pac-12

NEEDS WORK

Ball State MAC
Central Michigan MAC
Duke ACC
East Carolina C-USA
Middle Tennessee Sun Belt
Temple MAC
Toledo MAC
UCF C-USA

A PROBLEM

Akron MAC
Army Ind
Bowling Green MAC
Buffalo MAC
Colorado State M-West
Eastern Michigan MAC
FIU Sun Belt
Florida Atlantic Sun Belt
Hawaii WAC
Houston C-USA
Idaho WAC
Kent State MAC
Miami Univ. MAC
New Mexico State WAC
Rice C-USA
Southern Miss C-USA
Troy Sun Belt
Tulane C-USA
UL Monroe Sun Belt
Utah State WAC
Washington State Pac-12
Western Kentucky Sun Belt
Western Michigan MAC

THE BOTTOM TEN

Arkansas State Sun Belt
Marshall C-USA
New Mexico   M-West
North Texas Sun Belt
San Jose State WAC
UNLV M-West
Wyoming M-West
Memphis C-USA
UL Lafayette Sun Belt
UTEP C-USA

CFN 2011 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams  
- Preview 2011 | 2010 Unit Rankings