Posted: 10:00 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013
By Jack Follman
In the never-ending arms race of college football, the battle of who can have the biggest offensive line has kind of actually started to taper off a little bit - at least in the Pac-12. Due to the popularity and effectiveness of up-tempo and spread offenses, Pac-12 teams have started to move away from looking to field offensive lines where each starter weighed in around 330 pounds. Now it seems to be less about total weight, and more about total athleticism, but still with the average Pac-12 line weighing in right around 300 pounds, the race isn't completely done.
So here are the average weights of the Pac-12 anticipated starting offensive lines at the moment in order of heaviest to lightest:
1. Utah - 320 pounds
The Utes seem to still subscribe to the "bigger is better" mentality when it comes to offensive linemen, as their average weight is nearly 10 pounds more than the next heaviest. Interestingly enough, the Utes also have the shortest average line with a height of 6'2.8.
2. Oregon State - 310.6 pounds
The Beavers run one of the more traditional and slower-moving offenses in the Pac-12, so it's not surprising that they have one of the biggest lines in the Pac-12. The Beavers have only one starter that doesn't weight more than 300 pounds.
3. Washington - 309.8 pounds
It will be interesting to see if the Huskies will be able to fully implement the up-tempo offensive looks that it has been suggested that they are going to run in 2013 with one of the biggest offensive lines in the conference. It makes sense that the majority of the traditional offense teams in the conference have the heaviest lines.
4. Stanford - 305 pounds
I think many would assume that the old school, smashmouth Cardinal would have the biggest offensive line in the conference, but the Cardinal seem to be more focused on strength and athleticism than sheer size. One interesting factor though is that the Cardinal are tied with the Ducks for the tallest offensive line gropu, with their average starter at 6'5.4.
5. Cal - 302 pounds
The Bears always seemed to have one of the bigger offensive lines in the conference under Jeff Tedford, but with Sonny Dykes taking over and implementing the Bear Raid, it's likely that their units will continue to shrink just a little bit in the years to come.
T6. Colorado - 300 pounds
Colorado's starting line is still very much up in the air due to injury, but they have about average size across the board. Hey, at least Colorado isn't at the bottom in the conference at something.
T6. USC - 300 pounds
It's been a very long time since the Trojans have tried to steamroll opponents on the ground, so it's not surprising that they don't have a huge offensive line.
8. Arizona State - 298 pounds
The Sun Devils have a unit that is pretty much filled with guys of the same stature, as every starter is either 6'3 or 6'4 and in the 290 to 302 pound range.
9. UCLA - 297 pounds
The Bruins did an overnight turnaround into a team with a bit of a tough reputation under Jim Mora, but they still struggle to protect the passer up front. Could a lack of size on the offensive line be part of the problem?
10. Washington State - 294.2 pounds
The Cougar offensive line was decimated by injuries during the off-season, so they will be relying on some walk-ons in 2013. That, combined with the fact that the Cougars don't really run the ball much under Mike Leach probably leads to them having one of the smallest lines in the conference.
11. Oregon - 293.8 pounds
It's not surprising that the Ducks like to keep a lighter line than most with how much they ask their linemen to run. The Ducks were the team that pretty much started the smaller linemen trend in the conference.
12. Arizona - 288.6 pounds
Another that shouldn't be a surprise, as the Wildcats are trying harder than anyone else in the conference to be as fast as the Ducks. Even their two 6'8 tackles only check in at 309 and 305 pounds.
We'll be checking out the average weights of the Pac-12 starting defensive lines in a second part.