It’s time, once again, to work our way through the summer with 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 14 points, second place is 13 points, and they continue in descending order with tenth place equaling 1 point.
Heartland Sports Consensus Offensive Line Rankings
|1. Kansas State||42|
|4. West Virginia||32|
|7. Texas Tech||23|
|11. Oklahoma State||16|
|12. Iowa State||8|
Unanimity – Once again, we agreed at the top (Kansas State) and the bottom (Cincinnati) and in between them we agreed across the board on absolutely nothing else.
Almost Agreed – We were really close on eight different programs only to have one of us throw off the mojo.
All Over The Place – We didn’t agree at all on where Oklahoma, TCU, Texas Tech, and West Virginia belonged.
Individual Thoughts And Rankings
1. Kansas State | This might have been the easiest #1 to pick in the position rankings so far. The Wildcats will be returning all five starters from last season, as well as their top three rotational guys. Although they did have Deuce Vaughn last year to make them look good, this is still one of the top offensive lines in the country regardless of who is in the backfield.
2. Texas | Texas has a lot of talent on the offensive line. But, this is a very inexperienced group with only one senior. That is what held me back from considering them for the top spot. Kelvin Banks and Christian Jones will lead the way for the Longhorns in the trenches.
3. West Virginia | The Mountaineers will be good enough up front that if they can figure things out in the backfield they could really move the ball on some teams this season. They’re returning 133 combined starts with Zach Frazier leading the way.
6. Texas Tech
9. Oklahoma State
12. Iowa State
13. Baylor | Baylor had somewhat of a down year in the trenches last season. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like things will improve much in 2023. They’re losing an offensive line group that had 139 starts between them. Their most experienced lineman will be Clark Barrington who transferred in from BYU.
14. Cincinnati | The Bearcats might have a hard time getting the ball moving in their first season in the Big 12. The only starter to return from a year ago is Gavin Gerhardt. The rest of their projected lineup has a total of seven FBS starts.
1. Kansas State | This one is kind of a no-brainer. The Wildcats are reigning Big 12 Champions, they moved the ball easily on the ground a season ago, and they return their entire offensive line from last year, including Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year Cooper Beebe.
2. Oklahoma | The top rushing team in the conference from last season touts one of the most experienced offensive lines headed into 2023. A couple of transfers bring in a lot of experience, so the Sooners should be one of the best teams in the conference yet again.
3. Texas | The Longhorns are another squad that brings back a lot of experience, despite their youth. They’re a talented group with plenty of young backups that have potential to be good as well, and they’re going to be the key to the success of the Texas offense.
6. West Virginia
7. Texas Tech
9. Oklahoma State
13. Iowa State | The Cyclones were terrible at running the ball last season, and despite returning most of their starters, they’re going to have to prove they’re capable of anything in order to move any higher.
14. Cincinnati | Inexperience puts the Bearcats this low. Not only are they new to the Big 12, but pretty much their entire offensive line is new to playing football at this level.
1. Kansas State | To be fair, I could have easily put Texas here as well but the Wildcats’ run in 2022 is what earned them the top spot. Cooper Beebe is the returning Offensive Lineman of the Year, and he’ll look to lead KSU to once again have the best unit in the trenches in 2023.
2. Texas | Texas has the second most returning starts in the Big 12 (101) among offensive linemen. Christian Jones is the only senior on the UT two-deep which means this position group is going to be scary good for the next few years.
3. Oklahoma | The Sooners led the Big 12 with 219.4 rushing yards and despite losing Anton Harrison and Wanya Morris to the NFL Draft they’ll have one to the top units in the Big 12 again this fall. The addition of Stanford transfer Walter Rouse is a huge reason why.
4. West Virginia
9. Texas Tech
11. Oklahoma State
12. Iowa State
13. BYU | Transfers Paul Maile (Utah) and Weylin Lapuaho (Utah State) will be key to this unit exceeding expectations in 2023.
14. Cincinnati | With just one returning starter from a year ago, the Bearcats are looking for Luke Kandra (Louisville), and Deondre Buford (Kentucky) to help anchor one of the most inexperienced lines in the Big 12.
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