The big uglies. The road graters and quarterback protectors. This is arguably the most important unit on either side of the ball….and we start off our unit rankings with the offensive line.
1. South Carolina – the Gamecocks have 113 career starts returning including four starters from last year. With a dynamic back like Mike Davis this could make for a big year on the ground.
2. Auburn – it’s really hard for me to put Auburn this high when they lost the #2 overall draft pick at LT, but they return four starters and 113 career starts among the group. They were by far the best O-line last year and with Malzahn’s schemes I think they’ll be right back up here.
3. LSU – the Tigahs seem to always have a solid OL. They’ve got four starters back from 2013 and 75 career starts returning. You have to figure they’ll be a line that gets the job done…as per the usual in Baton Rouge.
4. Texas A&M – like Auburn, it’s hard to think they’ll be so high after losing the 6th overall pick at LT but they too return four starters and 89 career starts. I tend to lean towards them being slightly overrated the last couple of years due to Johnny Manziel’s escapability but they will be very good.
5. Alabama – I’m going a lot on reputation here, but what are the chances of Bama not having a good O-line? They return three starters from last year.
6. Mississippi State – losing Gabe Jackson will hurt but the main concern is at RT – other than that the line looks very good with 81 career starts returning.
7. Missouri – this should be a good group with three returning starters.
8. Arkansas – Bret Bielema is going to find a way to run the ball and make sure his O-lineman know what they’re doing. I feel like this unit could end up higher than this, but with just 51 career starts returning this is where I feel comfortable.
9. Georgia – the Bulldogs only return two guys but they stockpile talent in Athens and should be able to put something together. Richt feels good about the OL, so this is probably where they’ll be.
10. Ole Miss – 61 career starts returning after losing three big guys. Tunsil is really good but can the other guys step up as well?
11. Vanderbilt – this unit was not very good last year but they return four starters so they’ve got experience on their side.
12. Florida – this was a terrible offensive line in 2013. The .gif of them blocking one another is one of the most pathetic things we’ve ever seen on the football field. They return 66 career starts – need to figure something out.
13. Kentucky – the Wildcats were not good at all last year but they do return four guys like Vandy. But these four have yet to prove they can run much semblance of an effective offense.
14. Tennessee – when you lose all five starters this is where you land. Only six returning starts.