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2012 BCS Champ. Position Breakdown - OLs
Alabama OT Barrett Jones
Alabama OT Barrett Jones
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 5, 2012


As a primer, check out the position-by-position breakdown of the 2012 BCS Championship.


2012 BCS Champ. Breakdown

Alabama vs. LSU - OLs

- CFN 2009 BCS Championship Breakdown - Florida vs. Oklahoma   
- CFN 2010 BCS Championship Breakdown - Alabama vs. Texas
- CFN 2011 BCS Championship Breakdown - Auburn vs. Oregon|

CFN 2012 BCS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION BREAKDOWN
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs
- Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defensive Lines | Linebackers
- Secondaries | Special Teams | Coaches

Alabama: The Bama offensive line was okay, but it struggled in pass protection, finishing tenth in the SEC and 88th in the nation in sacks allowed, while not doing a consistent enough job for the ground game. This year, though, the talent and experienced came through to form one of the nation’s most consistent lines.

The Tide already got a win when Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones decided to return for his senior season. The 6-5, 311-pound left tackle has been the next star in line after James Carpenter and Andre Smith were key parts of the Tide attack, and Jones might be the best of the lot. The one question going into the season was his durability after having a few ankle problems, and he turned into a special run blocker while showing the feet to handle himself well against the elite SEC pass rushers.

As good as Jones is, 6-6, 335-pound sophomore D.J. Fluker might be even more talented on the right side. The sky is the limit with size, athleticism, and agility to potentially become an NFL right tackle, and with a bit more consistency, he might have been ready to move over to the left side had Jones decided to take off.

Leading the line in the middle is First-Team All-SEC center William Vlachos, a 6-3, 294-pound senior who has grown into a blaster of a run blocker and terrific at getting on the move. He’s flanked by fellow All-SEC performance Chance Warmack at left guard. The 6-6, 320-pound junior took over for all-star Mike Johnson and made the job his. Huge and with phenomenal strength, he has turned into a dominant run blocker, while the combination of 6-2, 311-pound senior Alfred McCullough and 6-3, 303-pound sophomore Anthony Steen have formed a strong combination at right guard. McCullough has tackle-like ability, while Steen might be the team’s strongest player.

LSU: Welcome to the reason LSU is playing for the national title. The secondary might be the nation’s best, and the defensive line is a killer, but it’s been the play of the Tiger offensive front that’s been the difference between being really good and possibly going 14-0.

The formula has been simple. Pound away, keep pounding, and eventually, the defense will wear down and the rotation of fresh backs starts ripping off yards in chunks. It all starts with 6-4, 303-pound senior all-star Will Blackwell at right guard, who came back from missing most of last year with an ankle injury and dominated for the ground game with consistency and power for a player of his size. He might not be the biggest guard around, but he plays like it.

Blackwell was a First-Team All-SEC performer, as was 6-6, 340-pound junior right tackle Alex Hurst. A block out the sun blocker, he’s impossible to get around with a huge wing span and just enough quickness for a player of his size to get by against the more athletic pass rushers. After missing the second half of last year hurt, he came back for the bowl game and destroyed Texas A&M. One of the Tigers’ strongest players, he has the size and make-up to be a longtime NFL starting guard.

Senior T-Bob Hebert has the versatility to work at either center or right guard. The 6-3, 304-pound senior got bigger and stronger, and he’s been a key part of the mix at both spots, while 6-4, 305-pound junior center P.J. Lonergan has been one of the team’s best run blockers over the last two years. He’s a pancake machine.

ADVANTAGE: LSU … barely.

The two lines were dead even in the first game, and they’re each going to be a strength. Along with Wisconsin’s front five, these are two of the top offensive lines in college football.

The Alabama offensive line is good, but the LSU front five has been special. Neither line gives up sacks and each has the ability and the potential to inflict its will. The difference is the ability to punish; LSU does it better and it fits the cliché of getting better as the game goes on.

But so does Alabama’s line.

The Tide line did a better job of establishing its will early, and it showed with good first halves and dominant third quarters. The Tigers needed a bit longer to get rolling – even though the second quarter was the O’s best – but once the trickle started coming, the floodgates opened and the O line destroyed everything in its path.

CFN 2012 BCS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION BREAKDOWN
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs
- Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defensive Lines | Linebackers
- Secondaries | Special Teams | Coaches