Offensive Line University  

Posted by Frazier

This topic gets slightly harrier. Evaluating players based solely on pro bowls seems a little odd, since several of those spots go to the same guys every single year, unless they actually petrify in their stance. Also, this is a classic situation where some schools have a virtual assembly line to the pro's, and have players starting on the line, warming the bench, or getting coffee on virtually every team in the league. How to evaluate? As always, excellence matters. Getting a huge number to the pro's matters, getting a large number of excellent players matters more. This list is highly subjective (even more so than the other topics) so in the end, it's all about feeling. This is how I feel:

Honorable Mention:

-The Big Ten. This conference just does it right. Tons of players, tons of starters, tons of pro bowlers and the rest. Simply too many to list. The toughness of this conference has never been questioned, nor should it. Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin all have produced some outstanding players. However, none of them have done quite as well as....

The Runner Up:

-Penn State. Known as Linebacker U (which, when we get there, Penn St. probably won't even crack the top five) maybe they should shift that focus to the Offensive Line U. (They should start selling "O-Line U" shirts, and remember to order plenty of XXXL's). The Nittany Lions have produced six pro bowlers in the last twenty years (Mike Munchak, Steve Wisniewski, Jeff Hartings, Keith Dorney, Marco Rivera, Brad Benson) some very solid players (eg. Tom Rafferty an Dallas Texas all-time team member). Munchak was named to the NFL All 80s team and the NFL Hall of Fame, as Wisniewski was an NFL All 90s team member, and should get some serious hall consideration. Oh, he was also one of the dirtiest players of all time. That wins you points around here.

The Winner:

-USC. It's a pretty simple case at the end of the day. They have produced a further six pro bowlers of the past twenty years (Anthony Munoz, Tony Boselli, Bruce Matthews, Marvin Powell, Don Mosebar, Roy Foster) all of whom made multiple trips to Hawaii. Oh, Munoz and Matthews are two of the best of all-time, and while Munoz is already in the Hall of Fame, Matthews is a mortal lock. Furthermore, Munoz was named to the NFL All 80s team and BOTH Matthews and Boselli were named to the NFL All 90s team. Boselli himself would have an excellent chance of joining them in Canton if not for severe shoulder problems. Still, this is an asbolutely fearsome top three, with many more NFL contributors on the roster. USC may be known for its' tailbacks, or more recently its' quarterbacks. Possibly even its' defensive backs, lead by all-everything Ronnie Lott (more on the DB's another time) but it's the O-Line that has proved itself absolutely dominant over the past two decades.


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