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The Pancake System – Ranking the Big Ten Positional Groups: Offensive Line

by Sal Soothsayer | Posted on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

We are going to use a unique scoring system as we continue our week-long analysis of the Big Ten as we take a closer look at the Big Ten’s best offensive lines.

 

Monday – Offensive Backfield
Tuesday – Receivers
Wednesday – Offensive Line
Thursday – Defensive Line
Friday – Linebackers
Saturday – Secondary
Sunday – The Coaches

 

Offensive line is very difficult to measure as a team’s ability to score points, put up yards and even allow sacks is not always a true indicator of the success of an offensive line.  Big time stars can help, but, as Michigan saw last year not even a first round draft pick can make an O-Line if the entire unit is not acting cohesively.

Kaleb Johnson anchors the Rutgers offensive line. (Photo from ScarletKnights.com)

Kaleb Johnson anchors the Rutgers offensive line. (Photo from ScarletKnights.com)

Total Pancakes:  How Sal’s O-Line Metric Works

The offensive line metric I’ve created will be used to evaluate the potential of each unit.  Instead of an “eyeball test” three categories are going to be used.  Teams will earn points and then be ranked 1-14 in the first two categories and 1-7 in the final category (two teams per point).  The final score will be measured in pancakes (obviously!).

  • Career Starts:

The amount of games started by members of the offensive line

  • All-Conference Potential:

** = 1st Team All-Conference potential = 3 points

*   = 2nd/3rd Team All-Conference potential  = 1 point

  • Depth:

Depth is measured by the game experience and upside of the expected second string.  Two points are earned by players ranked in the top fifty at their position coming out of high school.  One point is earned for appearing in eight or more games.  One point is earned for starting three games or more.

 

The Total Pancakes:

This is a reflection of the pancakes earned in the three categories.  A perfect score would be 35 pancakes.

 

The best units from top to bottom…

# = Indicates Returning Starter

Stars = Indicate All-Conference Potential

 

1. Wisconsin:

LT:  # Tyler Martz, Jr – 6’5, 321 *
LG:  Dallas Lewallen, Sr – 6’6, 322
C:  # Dan Voltz, So – 6’3, 313 *
RG:  # Kyle Costigan, Sr – 6’5, 315 **
RT:  # Rob Havenstein, Sr, 6’8, 327 **
Career Starts:  74 = 9 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  8 points = 14 pancakes
Depth:  6 points = 6 pancakes
Total Pancakes:  29

2. Iowa:

LT:  # Brandon Scherff, Sr – 6’5, 320 **
LG:  Sean Welsh, Fr – 6’4, 290
C:  # Austin Blythe, Jr – 6’3, 290 *
RG:  # Jordan Walsh, Jr – 6’4, 290 **
RT:  Andrew Donnal, Sr – 6’7, 306
Career Starts:  62 = 8 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  7 points = 13 pancakes
Depth:  6 points = 6 pancakes
Total Pancakes:  27

3. Northwestern:

LT:  # Paul Jorgensen, Sr – 6’6, 295 *
LG:  # Geoff Mogus, Jr – 6’5, 295
C:  # Brandon Vitabile, Sr – 6’3, 300 **
RG:  # Matt Frazier, Jr – 6’4, 290
RT:  # Jack Konopka, Sr – 6’5, 300
Career Starts:  100 = 12 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  4 points = 9 pancakes
Depth:  4 points = 3.5 pancakes
Total Pancakes:   24.5

4. Minnesota:

LT:  Ben Lauer, So – 6’7, 310
LG:  #Zac Epping, Sr – 6’2, 321 **
C:  #Brian Bobek, Jr – 6’2, 282
RG:  # Caleb Bak, Sr – 6’3, 302
RT:  # Josh Campion, Jr – 6’5, 326 *
Career Starts:  129 = 13 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  4 points = 9 pancakes
Depth:  3 Points = 2 pancakes
Total Pancakes:  24

5. (tie) Indiana:

LT:   # Jason Spriggs, Jr – 6’7, 307 *
LG:  # Bernard Taylor, Sr – 6’2, 307
C:  # Collin Rahrig, Sr – 6’2, 290
RG:  # Dan Feeney, So – 6’4, 305 *
RT:  # Peyton Eckert, Jr – 6’6, 305
Career Starts:  130 = 14 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  2 points = 4.5 pancakes
Depth:  5 points = 5 pancakes
Total Pancakes:  23.5

5. (tie) Rutgers:

LT:  # Keith Lumpkin, Jr – 6’8, 315 *
LG:  # Kaleb Johnson, Sr – 6’4, 305 **
C:  # Betim Bujari, Sr – 6’4, 295
RG:  # Chris Muller, So – 6’6, 300
RT:  # Taj Alexander, Sr – 6’4, 290
Career Starts:  99 = 11 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  4 points = 9 pancakes
Depth:  4 points = 3.5 pancakes
Total Pancakes:  23.5

7. Michigan State:

LT:  # Jack Conklin, So – 6’6, 330 **
LG:  Travis Jackson, Sr – 6’3, 286
C:   # Jack Allen, Jr – 6’1, 300 **
RG:  Connor Kruse, Sr – 6’4, 317
RT:  Donavon Clark, Jr – 6’3, 310
Career Starts:  61 = 6.5 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  6 points = 12 pancakes
Depth:  4 Points = 3.5 pancakes
Total Pancakes:  22

8. Ohio State:

LT:  # Taylor Decker, Jr – 6’7, 315 **
LG:  Antonio Underwood, Jr – 6’2, 303
C:  Chad Lindsay, Sr – 6’2, 302
RG:  Pat Elflein, So – 6’3, 300 *
RT:  Darryl Baldwin, Sr – 6’6, 307
Career Starts:  21 = 2 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  4 points = 9 pancakes
Depth:  9 points  = 7 pancakes
Total Pancakes:  18

9. Nebraska:

LT:  Alex Lewis, Jr – 6’6 290 *
LG:  # Jake Cotton, Sr – 6’6, 305 **
C:  Ryne Reeves, Jr – 6’3, 300
RG:  Mike Moudy, Sr – 6’5, 305
RT:  Zach Sterup, Jr – 6’8, 315
Career Starts:  32 = 4 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  4 points = 9 pancakes
Depth:  5 points = 4.5 pancakes
Total Pancakes:  17.5

10. Illinois:

LT:  # Simon Cvijanovic, Sr – 6’6, 310
LG:  # Michael Heitz, Sr – 6’5, 305 *
C:  # Alex Hill, Sr – 6’3, 315
RG:  # Ted Karras, Jr – 6’4, 300 *
RT:  Austin Schmidt, So – 6’6, 285
Career Starts:  96 = 10 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  2 points = 4.5 pancakes
Depth:  2 points = 1 pancake
Total Pancakes:  15.5

11. Michigan:

LT:  # Erik Magnuson, So – 6’6, 295
LG:  Kyle Bosch, So – 6’5, 301
C:  # Graham Glasgow, Jr – 6’6, 308
RG:  # Kyle Kalis, So – 6’5, 304 *
RT:  Ben Braden, So – 6’6, 319
Career Starts:  37 = 5 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  1 point = 2.5 pancakes
Depth:  9 points  = 7 pancakes
Total Pancakes:  14.5

12. Maryland:

LT:  Damian Prince, Fr – 6’5, 300 *
LG:  Derwin Gray, Fr – 6’5, 300
C:  # Sal Conaboy, Sr – 6’3, 290
RG:  Andrew Zeller, Jr – 6’4, 300
RT:  Michael Dunn, Fr – 6’5, 295
Career Starts:  61 = 6.5 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  1 point = 2.5 pancakes
Depth:  4 points = 3.5 pancakes
Total Pancakes:  12.5

13. Penn State:

LT:  # Donovan Smith, Jr – 6’5, 335 **
LG:  Derek Dowrey, So – 6’3, 323
C:  Angelo Mangiro, Jr – 6’3, 309
RG:  Brian Gala, So – 6’3, 291
RT:  Brendan Mahon, Fr – 6’4, 292
Career Starts:  20 = 1 pancake
All-Conference Potential:  3 points = 6 pancakes
Depth:  3 points = 2 pancakes
Total Pancakes:  9

14. Purdue:

LT:  Corey Clements, Jr – 6’8, 375
LG:  Jason King, So – 6’3, 300
C:  # Robert Kugler, Jr – 6’3, 284
RG:  # Jordan Roos, So – 6’5, 320
RT:  JJ Prince, So – 6’6, 288
Career Starts:  31 = 3 pancakes
All-Conference Potential:  0 points = 1 pancake
Depth:  1 point = 1 pancake
Total Pancakes:    5
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