2006 Unit Rankings – Offensive Lines

Posted Aug 27, 2006

Preview 2006 Unit Rankings Offensive Lines  

Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers 
Defenses | Def. Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries | Spec. Teams

1. Texas
The line loses All-Americans Jonathan Scott and Will Allen, but has more than enough returning talent to be among the best front walls in America thanks to the return of tackle Justin Blalock, center Lyle Sendlein and guard Kasey Studdard. This is Texas we're talking about, so there are more than enough talented players ready to fill in the holes and provide strong depth. Can this group allow a mere 14 sacks and pave the way for 275 rushing yards per game? No, but it's not going to drop off too much, if at all.

2. Ohio State

It's amazing the Buckeyes have had the success they've had over the last few seasons without the benefit of a killer offensive line. Despite struggling at times this spring, this year's group has the potential to be the best by far in the Jim Tressel era if all the parts play as well as expected. Alex Boone is an All-American waiting to happen at left tackle, while Kirk Barton is on the verge of All-Big Ten stardom on the other side. There's a little bit of movement to get the best players on the field with starting tackle Doug Datish taking over at center to get Boone on the field. The depth is big and athletic with enough options to play around with several different combinations.

3. Oregon
The potential is there for this to be the Pac 10's best line with all five starters returning. It's a big group that got bigger this off-season with massive JUCO transfers Fenuki Tupou and Pat So'oalo added on the left side. With so much size, there's no excuse not to be better in the running game; it needs to be a more physical unit. That's an easy transition to make considering everyone took to the spread offense so quickly.

4. West Virginia
There might not be a more athletic line on a top 25 team in America. These guys aren't going to blow anyone off the ball, but they're amazing for the Mountaineer running game because of their quickness, pulling ability, and smarts; they're technicians. Center Dan Mozes is one of the nation's best linemen and should be the favorite for the Rimington Award. The interior will be a rock with Mozes and guards Ryan Stancheck and Jeremy Sheffey, but the tackles will be a bit of a concern early on needing to replace Garin Justice and Travis Garrett.

5. Oregon State
This might be the Pac 10's best line, and it's certainly the most experienced with all five starters returning and three excellent reserves waiting in the wings. Guard Roy Schuening is the star of the show and should pave the way for a strong ground attack. Pass protection will be the concern after allowing 32 sacks, but the consistency should improve if everyone can stay healthy. Sophomore guard Jeremy Perry will earn All-Pac 10 honors by the time he's done, while senior tackle Adam Koets is in line for a huge year.

6. Arkansas
The line gets five starters back even with the loss of center Kyle Roper thanks to the return of star tackle Zac Tubbs. Run blocking isn't an issue for the veteran group, but the big hogs will have to learn how to pass protect on a consistent basis. Jonathan Luigs is a rising star at center, while tackle Tony Ugoh and guards Robert Felton and Stephen Parker as rock-solid. There's enough depth to create a solid two-deep rotation.

7. Clemson
The line is very big and very, very experienced with all five starters returning and several other quality reserves that can step in without missing a beat. Consistency will be the key needing to be better in pass protection. Having a mobile quarterback like Will Proctor will help. It'll be a dominant run blocking unit that should pave the way for well over 2,000 yards on the ground. Roman Fry earned all-star honors at left guard last year, and he won't be the only All-ACC performer this season with tackle Barry Richardson and center Dustin Fry sure to get attention. 

8. Missouri
Four starters return to the line with a fifth player, guard Monte Wyrick, more than good enough to step in without a problem. Tackle Tyler Luellen and center Adam Spieker are All-Big 12 talents who'll keep the ground game going, while tackle Joel Clinger and guard Mike Cook form a good right side. The only problem is experience among the reserves, but talent isn't an issue with Kurtis Gregory, James Stigall and Dain Wise three of the best young talents to come in during the Gary Pinkel era. All they need is playing time.

9. Texas A&M
This isn't the best line in the Big 12, but it's not far off improving night and day after a shaky 2004. Four starters return with plenty of talented options to fill the one guard opening. All four returning players should be in the hunt for All-Big 12 honors led by tackle Yemi Babalola and guard Kirk Elder on the quick side. This group allowed a mere 16 sacks last season and paved the way for 235 rushing yards per game

10. Minnesota
The line was the most productive in America last year allowing a mere three sacks while paving the way for 3,277 rushing yards. It loses its two key cogs in center Greg Eslinger and guard Mark Setterstrom, but it gets Joe Ainslie back at 100% at one tackle spot and has versatility between Tony Brinkhaus and Tyson Swaggert to move where needed. Steve Shidell will be a top left tackle and should get more recognition this year. Depth will be an issue early on.

11 Northwestern Big Ten
12 Georgia Tech ACC
13 Purdue Big Ten
14 USC Pac 10
15 Auburn SEC
16 Florida State  ACC
17 Michigan Big Ten
18 Texas Tech Big 12 
19 Maryland ACC
20 Notre Dame Ind
21 Colorado   Big 12 
22 Arizona State Pac 10
23 Boise State WAC
24 Iowa   Big Ten
25 Kansas Big 12 
27 Boston College  ACC
28 Alabama SEC
29 Wisconsin Big Ten
30 Tennessee SEC
31 Oklahoma Big 12 
32 Georgia SEC
33 BYU M-West
34 Fresno State WAC
35 Utah   M-West
36 Toledo MAC
37 New Mexico M-West
38 Iowa State Big 12 
39 California Pac 10
40 Florida   SEC
41 Virginia ACC
42 Penn State Big Ten
43 Michigan State Big Ten
44 Virginia Tech ACC
45 Nebraska Big 12 
46 Miami   ACC
47 Southern Miss  CUSA
48 UCLA Pac 10
49 Wake Forest ACC
50 Rutgers Big East
51 Memphis CUSA
52 Washington State Pac 10
53 Vanderbilt SEC
55 Kentucky SEC
56 NC State ACC
57 Oklahoma State Big 12 
58 South Florida Big East
59 Louisville  Big East
60 Arizona   Pac 10
61 Illinois Big Ten
62 Pitt Big East
63 Northern Illinois MAC
64 Baylor Big 12 
65 Mississippi   SEC
66 Tulsa CUSA
67 Akron MAC
68 Indiana Big Ten
69 Marshall CUSA
70 Navy Ind
71 Air Force M-West
72 South Carolina SEC
73 Kansas State Big 12 
75 North Carolina ACC
77 Mississippi State SEC
78 Syracuse Big East
79 East Carolina CUSA
80 Bowling Green MAC
81 Houston CUSA
82 TCU M-West
83 Colorado State M-West
84 Washington Pac 10
85 Nevada WAC
86 Western Michigan MAC
87 Ohio MAC
88 Wyoming  M-West
89 Eastern Michigan MAC
90 Stanford Pac 10
91 Hawaii WAC
92 San Jose State WAC
93 Connecticut Big East
94 Cincinnati Big East
95 Duke ACC
97 Tulane CUSA
98 Miami Univ. MAC
99 San Diego State M-West
100 UNLV M-West
101 Louisiana Tech WAC
102 Central Michigan  MAC
103 UL Lafayette Sun Belt
104 UL Monroe Sun Belt
105 Army Ind
106 Ball State MAC
107 Idaho WAC
108 North Texas Sun Belt
109 Kent State MAC
110 MTSU Sun Belt
111 Arkansas State Sun Belt
112 Rice CUSA
113 Troy Sun Belt
114 Temple Ind
115 FIU Sun Belt
116 Utah State WAC
117 New Mexico State WAC
118 Florida Atlantic Sun Belt
119 Buffalo MAC