It's that time of year and all sorts of lists and rankings are being compiled and published just about everywhere. And why not? Football has a huge amount of participants and with over 120 schools in the FBS, that gives us an extraordinary amount of data to work with.
Pro Football Focus is one of those data gatherers and list compilers. They recently dropped a top ten list of the best offensive lines in college football. Sitting at the very top of that list is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Despite the losses of Ronnie Stanley and Nick Martin to the NFL draft, I believe the Irish will have the premier college offensive line in 2016. Led by Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame has the talent to be a dominant group.
This has to come as a bit of a shock to even the most die-hard fan of Notre Dame. In fact, it's a list that could even be readily dismissed with teams like #7 Indiana and #3 Appalachian State so prominently named.
It does beg the question though: Does Notre Dame have one of the best offensive lines in the country? I think an answer of "yes" is warranted, but as to the number one ranking... losing three starters from last year, would make that claim outrageous and unsubstantial. Sure, the potential is there with guys like Mike McGlinchey, Quenton Nelson, Sam Mustipher, Alex Bars, Hunter Biven and a few others.
However, like most unfounded claims, we will have to wait until these guys go to battle each Saturday to find out. I will say, that with Harry Hiestand, this group has been consistently good, and maybe they really are ready to take that next leap towards greatness this season and with these players.