Bearcats’ offensive line has an Alabama Football problem

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Comparing the rosters of Alabama Football and the Cincinnati Bearcats is made difficult by a lack of reference points. The competition the two teams have faced in 2021 has been drastically different. So different, trying to use stats as a measurement is almost useless.

The Bearcats have been boosted to the College Football Playoff semi-final, largely on the basis of one game. That game, a road victory over Notre Dame is not insignificant. At the same time, the perennial story of the Fighting Irish is being overrated. In the early-October game at South Bend, the Irish offense was not fully developed. Three first-half turnovers buried Brian Kelly’s team in a hole too deep for an Irish offensive recovery.

NCAA stats suggest the Cincinnati offensive line is a better than average group. There was a point back in November when both Cincinnati and Alabama were on the Joe Moore Award watch list of 20 teams. Neither team advanced to the semi-finalist group for choosing college football’s best offensive line unit. The award only goes back to 2015, but it has a solid review committee, including Cole Cubelic and Barrett Jones. Kentucky, Arkansas and Georgia were three of the teams chosen as semi-finalists. Neither Alabama Football nor Cincinnatti advanced. Kentucky was one of the four finalists and the winner was Michigan.

Different schemes and changing blocking assignments make rating the performance of individual offensive linemen difficult. What can be compared is the talent level of the players as recruits. Considerable effort goes into rating recruits, but it is nowhere near to being a scientific approach. There are many 5-Star busts, as well as 3-Star and even no-Star recruits who blossom into tremendous football players. Overall, recruiting rankings are a solid indicator of how well a future college player will perform.

Alabama Football and Cincinnati Rosters Very Different

The 2021 Alabama Football roster is filled with formerly, highly rated recruits. The same cannot be said for Cincinnati. Below is a list of the Bearcats; two-deep offensive line unit and their ratings as recruits.

Bearcats Tackles

  • James Tunstall; 2-Star in 2017 class and No. 2,619 player overall
  • John Williams; 3-Star in 2020 class and No. 1,662 player overall
  • Dylan O’Quinn; 3-Star in 2018 class and No. 2,146 player overall (as a tight end)
  • Cam Jones was a 3-Star prospect in the 2019 class – as a quarterback

Bearcats Guards

  • Jeremy Cooper; 3-Star in 2018 class and No. 1,493 player overall
  • Colin Woodside; 3-Star in 2018 class and No. 2,059 player overall
  • Lorenz Metz; 3-Star in 2018 class and No. 952 player overall
  • Vincent McConnell; 3-Star in 2017 class and No. 1,856 player overall

Bearcats Centers

  • Jake Renfro; 3-Star in 2020 class and No. 2,174 player overall
  • Gavin Gerhardt; 3-Star in 2020 class and No. 1,164 player overall

All the player rankings in this post are from the 247Sports Composite.

Next. The Bearcats' defensive backs are legit. dark

Whether it is stuffing the Cincinnati rushing attack or smothering Desmond Ridder in the pocket, the Crimson Tide front seven should feast on the Cincinnati offensive line.