It all starts up front! It doesn't mater how good your quarterbacks, receivers and running backs are if the offensive line can't stop a pass rush or create a hole to run through. When it comes to ranking the 'big uglies" of the Big 12 the upper hand goes to a team that was knocking on the door of the Big 12 championship game in 2010.
1. Oklahoma State - The Cowboys return every offensive starter from 2010 led by Levy Adcock who was an All-Conference selection. The OSU o-line paved the way for a 5.1 yards per carry rushing average in 2010 and only allowed a total of 10 quarterback sacks.
2. Texas A&M - The Aggies aren't returning all of their 2010 offensive line starters but they are returning four of five. Center Matt Allen graduated and leaves a hole to be filled in the middle but its a very minor question mark for a united that allowed their running backs to average 4.1 yards per carry but surrendered 37 quarterback sacks.
3. Baylor - Tackle Danny Watkins is the only starter who will be missing from Baylor's offensive line in 2011. The Bears led the conference in 2010 in yards per carry with an average of 5.5 and they allowed a respectable 20 quarterback sacks.
4. Oklahoma - The graduation of Eric Mensik and an injury to Jarvis Jones is taking a toll on the Sooner offensive line. Oklahoma still has four starters from 2010 ready to go when they host Tulsa in the season opener but the replacement for Jones will be key. Oklahoma's offensive line only allowed running backs to average 3.4 yards per carry last season and gave up 21 quarterback sacks.
5. Texas Tech - The Red Raiders averaged 4.1 yards per carry in 2010 and suffered a total of 21 quarterback sacks. They return all five starters from last season, led by All-Conference selections Lonnie Edwards and Mickey Okafor, and should be more than capable of making the transition to Tuberville's more balanced offensive attack.
6. Missouri - The Tigers are replacing their starting center from 2010 but that's it. Senior tackle Dan Hoch was an All-Conference selection last season and leads four starters back on the line this fall. The Missouri offensive line helped produce a 4.8 yards per carry rushing average and allowed 22 quarterback sacks.
7. Kansas - Turner Gill doesn't have a whole lot to work with but James Sims and four senior offensive linemen to run behind is a really good place to start. That's not to say there isn't room for improvement though. The Jayhawks averaged 3.4 yards per carry in 2010 and the o-line averaged 37 quarterback sacks.
8. Texas - The Longhorns lose three staples from their offensive line in tackles Kyle Hix and Britt Mitchell along with guard Michael Huey. An overhaul along the line is coming at just the right time as Texas is shifting its offensive philosophy under new coordinator Bryan Harsin. The Longhorns averaged 4.2 yards per carry and gave up 18 quarterback sacks.
9. Iowa State - The Cyclones are returning All-Conference left tackle Kelechi Osemele along with both starters on the right side of the line. Iowa State averaged 3.8 yards per carry last year in their rushing attack and surrendered 32 quarterback sacks.
10. Kansas State - The Wildcats have lost three of the five offensive line starters from last season and are looking to reload a unit that produced the top rushing attack in the conference last year. They'll need to take a step forward from the 31 tackles allowed in 2010.