Offensive linemen are the most underrated players in college football. The players in the trenches never get enough credit for their performance, but the five blockers up front set the stage for the skill players to have success. Recruiting and developing offensive linemen is never easy. However, there’s always a new wave of stars ready to emerge in the trenches.
When college football fans last left the Arkansas Razorbacks, they had flipped the switch on a 2-4 start to finish the year 8-5 (5-3 SEC), including season-ending wins against the Missouri Tigers and Kansas State Wildcats in the Liberty Bowl.
The SEC usually has some of the nation's toughest schedules. With trips to rowdy venues such as Death Valley, Kyle Field and Neyland Stadium, as well as matchups with respectable non-conference opponents, SEC teams have to earn every win.
College football’s 2015-16 coaching carousel was one of the most active in recent memory. After 28 jobs changed hands, the 2016-17 version may not be as active at the end of the year. However, several big-time jobs could open, as Les Miles (LSU), Charlie Strong (Texas), Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) and Gus Malzahn (Auburn) enter the 2016 season squarely on the hot seat.
Running back is one of the easiest positions to find a new standout each year, and there always seems to be a wave of stars ready to emerge in offseason workouts. Last season, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey finished second in the Heisman voting in his first year as the starter, while Alabama’s Derrick Henry went from sharing time with T.J.
There is a new sheriff in town in Athens. Head coach Kirby Smart takes over for Mark Richt after Richt and Georgia decided to part ways after 15 years. Smart comes to Athens off a 10-year apprenticeship under Nick Saban.