Gridiron on the Plains: Ranking the Offensive Lines and Coaches; Returning Starts in the Big 12

Some football links this morning as we rank the Big 12 offensive lines as well as coaches and how does Texas Tech rank in terms of returning starters.

Photo via Charles Henry @ Flickr.

Ranking the Big 12 Offensive Lines. The ESPN Big 12 Blog Bros ranked the offensive lines and they’ve got your Red Raiders at #3:

3. Texas Tech (3): The Red Raiders will have a potential All-America tackle in Le’Raven Clark and three more three-year starters up front. All that’s missing was a right tackle. Redshirt freshman Justin Murphy will take over that job after impressing the coaching staff this spring with his toughness. Depth is a question mark, though. The No. 2 line this spring was filled with walk-ons. Tech will need incoming transfers and freshmen to help out early on.

Slideshow Big 12 Coach Rankings. If you like slideshows then the Sporting News’ Matt Hayes ranks the Big 12 coaches and has head coach Kliff Kingsbury at #8. Whatever. The one gripe is Hayes’ comment, which seems completely off base: “if Baker Mayfield becomes a star at OU, Kingsbury’s decision to let him go will be scrutinized.” This just sin’t how I remember things, i.e. Kingsbury kicking him off the team. Kingsbury didn’t name him as the starter as Mayfield wanted, but that’s what I would have done too, so I can’t blame Kingsbury for now bowing down to Mayfield’s demands.

Returning Starters. ESPN’s Max Olson has the career starts for the Big 12 teams and has Texas Tech at 308, which is third, behind West Virgnia and Baylor. In an Olson and Brandon Chatmon roundtable, Olson is really starting to come around on your Red Raiders:

Olson: Is it crazy to think Texas Tech could be be pretty feisty on offense? I know the indecision at quarterback might make that harder to envision right now, but I do think Patrick Mahomes takes over and gives Tech a real, enduring spark. They are loaded at running back, they have a few burners at receiver and four experienced starters on the offensive line. Their 177 career starts as a unit ranks second-best in the Big 12. Cut down on the turnovers and you would get a group that can hurt opposing defenses in a lot of ways.

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