Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
|Ronald Martinez/Getty Images|
|Oklahoma's Duke Robinson is the Big 12's best offensive lineman.|
They were famously called "the big uglies" by veteran ABC-TV play-by-play announcer Keith Jackson over the years. But there's nothing unbecoming about the group of Big 12 offensive linemen who dominate in the trenches.
Here's my group of the conference's 10 best offensive linemen heading into the upcoming season.
1. Oklahoma G Duke Robinson: Could have made a lot of money by turning pro last season after grading out at 85 percent in 2007. But is poised to be a No. 1 NFL draft pick with a big senior season.
2. Oklahoma T Phil Loadholt: Dogged at times by inconsistency, but still the biggest, baddest offensive tackle in the league.
3. Texas Tech G Louis Vasquez: Started 24 games in his career. Has emerged as anchor of the Red Raiders' line that allowed only 18 sacks last season.
4. Colorado T Ryan Miller: Had bang-up season as a freshman last year and should be poised for even more after earning most-improved honors from his coaches over the spring.
5. Texas Tech T Rylan Reed: Might be ranked a tad low, although he's coming off major ankle surgery after his injury in the Gator Bowl. Former pitcher in the Chicago White Sox organization who has beaten cancer and broken the school's bench-press record.
6. Missouri T Colin Brown: Former walk-on who emerged as Tigers' most consistent blocker last season on a line with two four-year starters.
7. Texas G Derrick Dockery: Struggled at times since 2006 season, but could be poised for a monster senior season.
8. Oklahoma C Jon Cooper: Started 29 games in his career, leading Sooners with 798 plays and 136 knockdowns last season.
9. Nebraska G Matt Slauson: Most experienced Cornhusker offensive lineman started at right guard and both tackle spots last season.
10. Texas G-T-G Chris Hall: The conference's most versatile offensive lineman after starting at least one game at every interior line spot last season, including four at left guard. He's likely slated for center this season, but in a pinch could fill in almost anywhere.