The battle in the trenches is where games are won or lost. Offensive lines are like the suspension of your car. It’s pretty much impossible to have a functional car without a fully operational suspension, but when you are buying or talking about cars, all the flashy bells and whistles get all the attention.
So, let’s get down to it. Which offensive lines are the best of the Midwest? Which of our fine B1G schools have the most well-corn-fed linemen?
14 Northwestern Wildcats Skoronski/D’Antonio/Wrather/Schmidt/Wiederkehr
I’m starting at the bottom mainly to highlight the fact that the Mildcats offense is really bad. Also, for once, Illinois isn’t in last place in something.
13 Indiana Hoosiers Haggard/Katic/Carpenter/Weaver/Bedford
Man, #9wIndiana seems like a fever dream in another lifetime now. Indinia is now the theme of the day. That’s what you get for covering up your B1G stickers.
12 Maryland Terrapins Duncan/Lunsford/Anderson/Branch/Glaze
Terrapins? More like Terrable! This just goes to show that feeding your lineman corn is far superior to feeding them crab cakes and Old Bay.
11 Purdue Boilermakers Miller/Holstege/Hartwig/Finau/Craig
Jeff Brohm manages to put competent offenses on the field without having good O-lines. I think he might be a wizard. We should probably waterboard him until he confesses.
10 Nebraska Cornhuskers Prochazka/Nouili/Piper/Williams/Anthony
Honestly, this seems low to me, but what do I know? I think some voters are laying some of the blame for all the turnovers at the feet of the O-line here, or else either they or I don’t know what we’re talking about. Regardless, here they sit.
9 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Tyler/Ciaffoni/Zilinskas/Sutton/Pierce
Look at you, rguster! In the single digits! Yeah!
8 Michigan State Spartans Horst/Duplain/Samac/Greene?/S. Brown
This one also seems low to me, but here at 8 and 9, we have teams that were markedly improved under new regimes. Let’s see who can keep that momentum going.
7 Iowa Hawkeyes Richman/Britt/Elsbury/Colby/Plumb
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If Brian Ferentz is your Offensive Coordinator and you have a good Offensive Line, will anyone be able to tell?
6 Minnesota Gophers Ersery/Filiaga/Schmidt/Ruschmeyer/Guedet
Minnesota has a good line. Will either of their really good RBs be ready to run behind them? If they aren’t, will PJ Fleck suit up and sneak into the game? We all know he has that breakaway speed.
4-5 We have a tie for fourth place. Between my Illinois Fighting Illini and the Penn State Nittany Lions. I sure wish I had a noteworthy anecdote about ties between these two teams to tie this thing together like a rug in Lebowski’s apartment. Ok, after 9 OTs, I’m giving 5th to Penn State and their Oline Banana Peel/Traffic Cone/Stop Sign/Scarecrow/Turnstile
At fourth, Pearl/Slaughter/Pihlstrom/Adams/Palczewski Illinois picked up a major win when Palczewski came back for another year to anchor the line at tackle. At the other tackle spot is new starter Julian Pearl and frankly, I’m having a real tough time rooting for a guy named Pearl. It just doesn’t sit well with me for some reason.
3 Wisconsin Badgers Nelson/Furtney/Tippmann/Beach/Brown
Did you have any doubt that wisconsin would be third behind the top two teams from the East? It’s kind of their thing.
2 Ohio State Buckeyes Johnson/Jackson/Wypler/Jones/Jones
Opposing D-lines are going to really struggle keeping up with the Jones’s on the Bucks line.
1 Michigan Wolverines Hayes/Keegan/Oluwatimi/Zinter/???
Jim Harbaugh will surely continue his run of success and not go crazy and blow it, right?
So, that is your OTE rankings of the B1G Offensive Lines. Please tell us what you think in the comments. That is, if you can figure out the new comment setup. Also, feel free to tell me I’m lazy in the comments. That is always appreciated also.