Here we go! Time to work our way through the summer we’re back to our Big 12 position rankings. With these posts we give our opinions on each of the offensive and defensive position groups and rank them from first to worst. We only defend our top three and bottom two in the rankings and while we’re sure to say something that’s out of this world crazy it’s also a great way to get football conversations going. So, enjoy and make sure to sound off with your opinions in the comments section below.
This time around the Heartland Sports writers give their take on the offensive lines across the conference, ranking them from first to worst. Then they are asked to defend their top three and bottom two rankings.
The consensus rankings below 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.
Heartland Sports Consensus Offensive Line Rankings
|2. West Virginia||26|
|6. Iowa State||14|
|6. Kansas State||14|
|8. Oklahoma State||10|
|10. Texas Tech||4|
Unanimity – We’ve officially moved to the offensive side of the ball in these rankings and we’re still having a difficult time in agreeing across the board on a position ranking. Perhaps it’s a sign of parity in the conference? Yeah, that sounds good. Let’s go with that.
Almost Agreed – We came really close to Baylor being unanimous at #2 but one of us gave the Bears a first place vote which was enough to put them in the top spot by two points. We also came pretty close to unanimously ranking Texas at #6 but one of us clearly thinks more highly of the Longhorns than the others. Iowa State and Oklahoma State were also very close to being unanimous at #7 and #8 respectively.
All Over The Place – We gave three separate offensive line rankings on five of the ten schools.
Individual Thoughts And Rankings
1. Oklahoma – The Sooners might not have a super cohesive group to start the fall, but there’s no one better in the business than Coach Bill Bedenbaugh. If anyone can get this group together it’s him. Incoming Cal transfer McKade Mettauer will make an immediate impact. The talent for Oklahoma is there, and there’s probably only a few teams in the conference that can compete with them. By the time conference play starts I believe we will see this offensive line group looking like the type of O-line that Oklahoma is used to having.
2. Baylor – The Baylor Bears have arguably their most talented O-line ever coming into 2022. The starting unit consists of all seniors including two 6th-year seniors. Not much is changing from their roster a year ago besides the addition of JUCO transfer Mose Jeffrey. If he is able to live up to the hype he can really take this group to another level from last season.
3. Texas – Texas would be at number two for me if they had the left tackle position figured out. It was a big question mark from last year and little to nothing was done to correct the problem. They have a very talented group with a couple of 5 star recruits. However, they have a freshman and a couple of sophomores with very little experience. The Longhorns have a bright future in the O-line position group, but how will that translate into 2022?
4. West Virginia
5. Iowa State
6. Kansas State
7. Oklahoma State
9. Texas Tech – The Red Raiders will put forth an O-Line unit that has very little experience playing together. They will rely on incoming transfers Cade Briggs and Cole Spencer to immediately jump in the lineup and have an impact.
10. Kansas – The Jayhawks are in a very similar situation as Texas Tech. They have three incoming transfers from Buffalo in Nolan Gorczyca, Michael Ford, and Mike Novitsky. The good news is these guys have all played together before. The bad news is that it was under a completely different program.
1. Baylor | The reigning Big 12 Champs tout the league’s best offensive lineman in Connor Galvin, and with three other starters returning on the front line, they’re going to be a force to contend with.
2. West Virginia | The Mountaineers haven’t been good in quite some time, but that might change this season. A big part of their success will be based on their offensive line led by Zach Frazier. They also bring a lot of overall veteran experience to the table.
3. Oklahoma | The Sooners have consistently had solid offensive line play over the years, and this season should be no different, despite the departure of Lincoln Riley.
4. Kansas State
7. Iowa State
8. Oklahoma State
9. Kansas | I legitimately have a hard putting the Jayhawks this low. They return a lot of experience, and perhaps this is a year where they find some true success.
10. Texas Tech | The Red Raiders have always been a passing offense, but their offensive line isn’t looking too pretty coming in simply because of a lot of question marks with a new coach.
1. West Virginia | The Mountaineers are the only team in the Big 12 with five returning starters along the offensive line. There’s some work to be done within the WVU offense but the guys up front are head and shoulders above any other unit within the offense.
2. Baylor | Left tackle Connor Galvin is potentially a future first round NFL pick and the only guy missing up front from last year’s Big 12 championship squad is left guard Xavier Newman-Johnson.
3. TCU | I feel like I might be higher on the Horned Frogs than others but they’ve got four guys back from 2021 with Obinna Eze’s departure to the NFL making him the only one missing this fall.
7. Iowa State
8. Oklahoma State
9. Kansas State | The left-side of the Wildcat line is solid with Cooper Beebe and Christian Duffie returning but the other three spots along the line are huge question marks.
10. Texas Tech | In the past this has been a spot reserved for Kansas but I’m going with the Red Raiders this year. Tech is going to rely on a bunch of transfers coming together to replace the losses of three linemen from last season.
Follow us on Twitter: @SportsHeartland