Ranking the SEC’s top 10 offensive linemen of the BCS era

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The SEC is known for its defense, but one of the more underrated aspects of this dominant conference is the big uglies. The SEC dominates the trench play, whether it’s offensive line or defense line, the line play is outstanding year after year.

Here are the SEC’s top 10 offensive linemen during the BCS era:

1. Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama (2009-12)
Skinny: Jones was the most versatile linemen to play in the BCS era. He played right guard in 2009 and then moved to left tackle in 2010, only to wind up at center in 2012. That’s three different positions, and he excelled at all of them, winning three national championships. He won the 2011 Outland Trophy and won the 2012 Rimington Trophy, making Jones one of two total linemen to ever win both awards. Off the field, Jones is the smartest big ugly on the list, graduating summa cum laude in 2011 with a 4.0.

2. Chris Samuels, OT, Alabama (1996-99)
Skinny: Samuels remains one of the most dominant offensive linemen in recent memory. He was a consensus first-team All-American as a senior and won the Outland Trophy and was a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award. Samuels started 42 straight games without yielding a sack. That’s impressive. Samuels was the very definition of a road grader.

3. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M (2010-12)
Skinny: We only got to see Joeckel block for one season, but he did it two years before that. He started all 13 games as a true freshman, sophomore and junior at left tackle, before winning the Outland Trophy and becoming a unanimous first team All-American in 2012. Joeckel was the anchor of arguably the best line in college football in ‘12. He was taken by the Jags with the second pick overall.

4. Shawn Andrews, OT, Arkansas (2001-03)
Skinny: Andrews was a two-time All-American for the Hogs. He won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy for the conference’s best blocker two times in a row. He also won the Jim Parker Trophy as the nation’s best O-lineman in ‘03. In 35 career games, Andrews yielded two sacks.

5. Andre Smith, OT, Alabama (2006-08)
Skinny: Let’s take off our NFL glasses and grade Smith for what he was in college – a road grader. Smith made the SEC’s All-freshman team in 2006, before blowing into an All-SEC performer in 2007. However, his game took off in 2008 when he won the Outland Trophy and was unanimous All-American. He shared the Jacobs Blocking Trophy with Arkansas center Jonathan Luigs.

6. Jonathan Luigs, C, Arkansas (2005-08)
Skinny: Luigs started seven games at right guard in 2005 before moving to center in 2006. He was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy and was a third-team All-American the same year. Luigs won the Rimington his junior year and was again a finalist his senior year to complete a three-time All-SEC career from 2006-2008. Luigs was a nobody recruit who developed into a powerhouse.

7. Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss (2005-08)
Skinny: Yes, you’ve all seen The Blind Side, but Oher was a star big ugly for the Rebels. He started 10 games at guard as a freshman and was a first-team freshman All-American, and he moved to tackle his second year. He was a second-team All-SEC performer in 2006 but garnered first-team All SEC honors in 2007. In 2008, Oher was a first-team All-American and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy.

8. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida (2007-09)
Skinny: Pouncey is one of the most athletic linemen and arguably the best center in the BCS era. He started 11 of 13 games at right guard before moving to center in 2008. There he started all 14 games and part of the Gators’ national championship team. Pouncey was a consensus All-American in 2009 and won the Rimington Trophy before entering the NFL Draft.

9. Ben Wilkerson, C, LSU (2001-04)
Skinny: Wilkerson was part of the Tigers 2003 national championship team and was a first-team All-SEC performer and a consensus first-team All-American in 2004. He also won the Rimington Trophy as college football’s best center.

10. Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Skinny: Warmack is the only full-time guard on this list and for good reason. He’s regarded as one of the best guard prospects ever and was a staple in the Tide’s running game for four years. He started five games as a freshman before starting the last 39 games of his career starting the next season. Warmack was a consensus All-American and All-SEC performer, making an astounding two penalties in 732 snaps as a senior.

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