The Count: Using College O-Lines to Handicap This Fall

With spring football over and fans pondering their teams’ prospects in the fall, look beyond quarterbacks and coaching changes and schedules for hints at who will do well. Look instead at offensive line experience.
Perhaps no ingredient is a better indicator of success in college football than prime, aged beef up front. Last season, eight of the top 10 teams in the final Associated Press had at least 65 career starts among their offensive linemen entering the season. Meanwhile, three of last season’s notable disappointments — Clemson, Missouri and preaseason No. 1 Georgia — had fewer than 40.