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Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys

2019 Big 12 Football Position Rankings | Offensive Line

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

It’s that time again! The summer months are upon us and our favorite way to pass the time is by speculating on how specific positions will shape up in the Big 12. The Heartland Sports writers give their take on a specific position, ranking them from first to worst. Then they are asked to defend their top three and bottom two rankings.

The consensus rankings come from a points system. A first place selection is worth 10 points, second place is 9 points, and they continue in descending order with tenth place equaling 1 point.

We’re all over the place with the offensive line rankings. Two different teams received first place votes, while three teams received at least one vote for third place. The only think we agreed upon across the board was Kansas State at #8.

Heartland Sports Consensus Offensive Line Rankings
RankingPoints
1. Texas 44
2. Iowa State43
3. Oklahoma 37
4. Oklahoma State36
5. West Virginia 34
6. Texas Tech30
7. TCU18
8. Kansas State15
9. Baylor11
9. Kansas 7

Mark

1. Iowa State | All 5 starters are returning to an offensive line that really came together during Big 12 play last season. They averaged 29.6 points per game in conference which resulted in 6 Big 12 victories. With the combined total of 114 starts between them, I look forward to seeing how they develop even more as a unit this season and what that could mean to the Cyclone offense.

2. Oklahoma | Creed Humphry is the only returning starter at center while the rest of last year’s line is off to life in the NFL. However, OU is still poised to have another impressive season of offensive line play. They are not going to have the most experience, but we also have to take account these guys were backing up arguably the best offensive line of the decade in all of college football. By the end of the year, I would not be surprised if they are the top O-line unit in the conference.

3. West Virginia | With 2 players on the Outland Trophy watch list, it’s hard not to take notice of the Mountaineer line. Especially with one of them being the second most important position on offense, Colton McKivitz at left tackle. My main worry about ranking them this high is they don’t have much behind them in terms of experience.

4. Texas Tech

5. Oklahoma State

6. Texas

7. Baylor

8. Kansas State

9. Kansas | Kansas has a ton of experience returning, however those guys have not produced the best results. Even with all that experience, we still aren’t sure who the starters will be but there are reasons to be somewhat optimistic.

10. TCU | With only 1 returning starter and already not great offensive line play, I am not confident that the backups from last season that have little game time experience will improve the offensive line. But the coaches have shown the ability to develop linemen in the past with Joseph Noteboom being drafted in the 2nd round a couple years ago.

Craig

1. Texas | The Longhorns are bringing back two excellent offensive lineman. Zach Shackelford was All Big-12 a season ago, and Samuel Cosmi was a Freshman All-American. The Longhorns will also be adding transfer Parker Braun from Georgia Tech. Texas seemingly has the best O-Line with those three guys starting this season.

2. Oklahoma | The Sooners are definitely reloading at the O-Line position this season. However, that has been no problem for Oklahoma in recent years. The good news for the Sooners is that they are rebuilding around Creed Humphrey. Considering Humphrey is one of the most talented guys in the conference, I’d say Oklahoma will be just fine this season when it comes to the O-Line.

3.West Virginia | The Mountaineers will be returning their best lineman in Colton McKivitz. He will be joined by Josh Sills who was named to the second team All-Big 12. With the experience of those two guys, finding talent to surround them shouldn’t be hard.

4. Oklahoma State

5. Texas Tech

6. Iowa State

7. TCU

8. Kansas State

9. Baylor | The Bears allowed more sacks per game than any other team in the Big 12 a season ago. Although Baylor is returning a lot of guys, those guys don’t seem to be very proven. It’s safe to say Baylor has some major improvement to do on the O-Line.

10. Kansas | Kansas always seems to find their way at the bottom of these rankings multiple times during the summer. The Jayhawks will have a star in Hakeem Adeniji, but they will need more than that. If Kansas is going to make this rebuild happen, it’ll have to start on the O-Line.

Rich

1. Texas | There are plenty of names that are easily recognizable on the roster along the offensive line. The addition of Parker Braun — a grad transfer from Georgia Tech — adds not only depth but also an immediate impact player. With two All-Big 12 types on the front lines, the offensive line of the Longhorns appears to be the best on paper.

2. Iowa State | Easily identified as a strength this season, the Cyclones return all five starters along the line. As an experienced group, the five possess 114 starts collectively. However, that doesn’t mean the unit simply jumps to the top of the pecking order. With a few struggles largely due to young quarterbacks and a disparity in talent level, ISU gave up 31 sacks in thirteen games. That leaves room for improvement for sure.

3. Oklahoma State | Losing a single piece to the puzzle that is the offensive line, the Pokes added Charlie Dickey — one heck of position coach. With three potential all-conference players in the trenches, Oklahoma State is in good shape. The potential for the group may not be as high as some others in the conference, leaving OSU as an intriguing unit to watch over the duration of the year.

4. West Virginia

5. Texas Tech

6. Oklahoma

7. TCU

8. Kansas State

9. Kansas | Despite possessing 93 starts among the group, the Jayhawks offensive struggles stem from the lack of a dominant offensive line. In 2018 alone, the line surrendered 30 sacks throughout the duration of the season. While the number falls toward the middle of the pack, Kansas does have Hakeem Adeniji to build around. In a newly installed system, the only way to go from here is up, right?

10. Baylor | The Bears’ offensive line has the most to prove in the upcoming season. Consistently struggling under the direction of Matt Rhule, Baylor ranked last in sacks allowed during the previous two campaigns. With several question marks at the position, Rhule once again has his work cut out for him.

Zack

1. Texas | Texas isn’t back, but the Longhorns have plenty of potential headed into this season thanks in large part to their offensive line. They return 91 starts which include plenty of production in recent years.

2. Iowa State | 114 starts is the second-most in the Big 12, and the Cyclones bring back plenty of experience, which includes 4 seniors on the front line. Matt Campbell has done some fantastic work in the last few years in Ames, and the offensive line is going to play a big role in their success this season.

3. Oklahoma | The Sooners graduated a ton of talent up front, but there is plenty to be excited about in Norman. Sophomore Creed Humphrey is the big name on the O-line, and you don’t have the best rushing unit in the league without a strong push up front.

4. Oklahoma State

5. Texas Tech

6. TCU

7. West Virginia

8. Kansas State

9. Baylor | Matt Rhule rebounded from his 1-11 initial season in Waco by leading the Bears to a 7-6 record last season, which was capitalized by a win over Vanderbilt in the Texas Bowl. Even still, the Bears’ offensive line is not one that has stricken fear in the hearts of opposing defenses, and while they return some experience, expectations are low for the boys up front.

10. Kansas | The Jayhawks have struggled up front, which is no surprise considering their lack of success over the last decade. They return 93 starts, and Les Miles is a different breed of coach, so maybe they will win some more games this year, but I have to see it to believe it.

Matt

1. Iowa State | The Cyclones have all five starters returning from 2018 with three of them being legit NFL prospects. Four of the starting five will be seniors, and Josh Knipfel may just be the best overall offensive lineman in the conference.

2. Texas | The Longhorns only have two returning starters from a year ago but added transfer Parker Braun who was an all-conference player at Georgia Tech.

3. Oklahoma State | The Cowboys are bringing back four of five starters from a year ago. That unit went through multiple growing pains but the hope in Stillwater is that it pays off as experience this fall.

4. West Virginia

5. Oklahoma

6. Texas Tech

7. TCU

8. Kansas State

9. Baylor | The Bears bring three starters back from a year ago but before you get too excited about that you should understand two things. 1) Depth has been a significant challenge since Matt Rhule arrived to Waco. 2) Baylor allowed the most sacks in conference play of any Big 12 team (3.5 per game).

10. Kansas | If there’s a team with a lesser talent pool than Baylor its Kansas. Les Miles is working to improve that but he needs time.

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