The SEC’s most experienced O-lines

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The big uglies rarely get the credit they deserve. Last year, two SEC West teams in Alabama and Texas A&M displayed O-line greatness, helping propel their teams to another level on offense.

But this year, two SEC East teams – Tennessee and Georgia – return the most experience.

Tennessee’s 123 career starts feature arguably the best tackle tandem in the SEC in Antonio Richardson and Ja’Wuan James. Center James Stone and guard Zach Fulton are also weathered veterans. Butch Jones may not have many skill players on offense, but what he does have are road graders up front. Only Texas returns more career starts than Tennessee with 124.

Georgia returns all five starters along the offensive line. John Theus, Dallas Lee, David Andrews, Chris Burnette and Kenarious Gates are the five, but right now Theus is second on the depth chart behind Xzavier Ward exiting spring after starting all 14 games in 2012.

Here is how the SEC stacks up, via Phil Steele:

  • Tennessee 123 (#2 in CFB)
  • Georgia 101 (#7)
  • Mississippi State 95 (#11)
  • Florida 92 (#14)
  • Ole Miss 82 (#27)
  • Texas A&M 73 (#46)
  • Vandy 73 (#46)
  • S. Carolina 72 (#49)
  • Auburn 70 (#53)
  • Missouri 61 (#70)
  • Arkansas 60 (#72)
  • LSU 49 (#89)
  • Alabama 39 (#106)
  • Kentucky 39 (#106)

Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

COMMENTS

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  • No doubting Alabama’s ability to reload…but was wondering…have they ever been dead last in this category before? Replacing 3 starters may cause a few issues…even for them.

    • I don’t believe it will be that big of an issue. These guys are big, physical, and good players. They also all played a significant amount last year.

    • Don’t get too caught up in the numbers, JPDawgFan1. The Alabama D-Line may lack in total starts, but not talent. Jeoffrey Pagan, Ed Stinson, and Brandon Ivory have each has year to settle into the system. They’re also backed with quality depth, especially with the newcomers A’Shawn Robinson and Jonathan Allen. But what really helps is that Alabama will most likely have the best LB corps in the country. The main thing to remember is that these are Saban-recruited players on a Saban-coached team.

      • That’s great. This article was about offensive lines.

        • Well that’s a bummer! Same arguments, different subjects I guess. A superstar LT and a veteran RG return. Three mammoths are competing for the RT position. A new Center that is already on the Rimington Watch List. And an O-Line coach with a multitude of experience. Again, there is quality depth at the position.

        • capstone is always one to follow the company line LOL (oh, you mean that Bama line, well theyre great too!~ – just read the script baby!~ Gig Em!~