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Career Offensive Line Starts Returning

Today’s blog starts my in-depth look at my New and Improved Experience Chart. For 7 years I had listed an experience chart, which broke down the number of seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen each team had in the two deep and rated the teams experience level with a formula I devised. In 2009, I made the experience chart FIVE TIMES better.

Today I will look at the number of career starts returning for offensive lineman.

When most folks judge a team for the upcoming season they look at the QB, RB and WR’s that are returning. A few may take the time to look at star defensive players that are back (those with a lot of sacks or interceptions). However, very few look at the offensive line and yet the team that controls the line of scrimmage wins the game more often than not.

This year Ball St is the top team in the country with 115 career starts returning and they are clearly one of the top OL in the MAC with a couple of players making my Preseason All-MAC team. NC State is #2 with 112 starts returning and when you add that stat with a very good QB in Mike Glennon, you have a dangerous Wolf Pack team this year.   While everyone likes to talk about the dangerous skill positions that West Virginia has this year in QB Geno Smith, WR Tavon Austin and WR Stedman Bailey their OL is actually tied for #3 in the country with 105 career starts returning and that is yet another reason why the Mountaineer offense should be among the best in the country this year.

At the bottom of the list is Rice who has just 15 starts returning. Penn St and Virginia Tech are the 2 lowest BCS conference teams with just 17 career starts returning for each team and clearly the OL are my biggest question marks on both of those teams especially the Hokies.

Now experience on the O-line is not the only criteria for an offensive line’s potential for the next year. You have to add in the Blue Chips, how last year’s line performed (ypc rushing and sacks allowed), size, etc. That is how a team like USC can be just #66 in career starts returning but rated as my #4 overall OL this year.

Here are the rankings for all 124 teams with regards to Career OL Starts Returning.

Career OL Starts Returning

OL CAR OL CAR
Rank
Team STS
Rank
Team STS
1
Ball St 115
63
Washington 62
2
NC State 112
64
Arizona 61
3
West Virginia 105
64
South Carolina 61
3
Tennessee 105
66
USC 60
5
LSU 104
66
Vanderbilt 60
6
FIU 103
68
New Mexico St 59
7
Oklahoma 102
69
Indiana 58
8
Kent St 101
70
Washington St 57
9
Ohio 98
70
Mississippi 57
10
Eastern Michigan 95
70
FAU 57
10
Alabama 95
73
Colorado St 56
10
Texas A&M 95
73
Troy 56
13
Central Michigan 94
75
Iowa St 53
14
North Carolina 93
75
UTEP 53
15
Louisiana Tech 92
77
Pittsburgh 52
16
Duke 90
78
Fresno St 51
17
UCF 89
78
Colorado 51
18
Miami, Oh 88
80
Florida St 50
18
WKU 88
80
Tulane 50
20
Umass 85
80
Oregon St 50
21
Georgia Tech 83
80
Kentucky 50
22
UNLV 82
84
Purdue 49
23
Southern Miss 80
84
Wisconsin 49
24
Florida 79
86
Clemson 48
25
Bowling Green 78
86
Connecticut 48
26
Baylor 77
86
UTSA 48
26
BYU 77
89
Arizona St 47
28
Virginia 76
90
Maryland 46
28
Rutgers 76
90
USF 46
30
Kansas 75
92
Iowa 45
30
San Diego St 75
92
Army 45
30
Nevada 75
94
Nebraska 44
33
Louisville 74
94
Marshall 44
33
Michigan St 74
96
Kansas St 43
33
UCLA 74
96
Miss St 43
36
Northwestern 73
96
Texas St 43
36
Louisiana 73
99
Ohio St 42
38
Buffalo 72
99
Memphis 42
39
Houston 71
101
Minnesota 40
40
Tulsa 70
102
Air Force 39
41
Texas Tech 69
103
Stanford 37
41
ULM 69
103
Middle Tennessee 37
43
Illinois 68
105
Miami, Fl 36
43
East Carolina 68
106
Auburn 35
43
Western Michigan 68
107
Navy 34
43
Missouri 68
107
Akron 34
47
North Texas 67
109
Arkansas St 33
48
Boston College 66
110
Georgia 31
48
Utah St 66
110
Idaho 31
48
San Jose St 66
112
South Alabama 30
51
Notre Dame 65
113
Temple 29
51
New Mexico 65
114
Cincinnati 28
51
Utah 65
114
TCU 28
51
Oregon 65
116
Toledo 26
51
Arkansas 65
117
SMU 24
56
Michigan 64
117
Northern Illinois 24
56
Wyoming 64
119
Hawaii 20
56
Boise St 64
120
Wake Forest 19
59
Syracuse 63
121
Virginia Tech 17
59
Texas 63
121
Penn St 17
59
Oklahoma St 63
121
UAB 17
59
California 63
124
Rice 15

Please check PhilSteele.com everyday to get my Top 40 Countdown which continued today with #20 USF and #19 Michigan St. Every day now thru June 12th, I will post both magazine pages on each team that day and you can get an early look on how I breakdown your favorite team. Remember I will make those magazine pages available for only 24 hours for you to download.

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