Top 5 teams at line of scrimmage

An updated ranking of college football's best teams in the trenches

Updated: November 7, 2013, 9:35 AM ET
By Kevin Carter | ESPN Insider

Alabama & StanfordUSA TODAY SportsWhen it comes to line-of-scrimmage play, Stanford and Alabama are the cream of the CFB crop.

In revisiting my preseason ranking of college football's top five line-of-scrimmage teams, there are changes regarding who makes the cut after Week 10.

Heading into the final stretch of the season, Alabama, Stanford and Florida State are still among the nation's best when it comes to front-seven play. It's no coincidence that all three are in a position to make a run at their respective conference titles as we enter the final month of league play.

But the remainder of the ranks have shifted. While both Texas and Tennessee, previously ranked Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, have received solid play from their O-line and D-line units, two other teams have taken their place in the top five.

Here's an updated look at my top five line-of-scrimmage teams, based on observation and statistical analysis.


1. Alabama Crimson Tide


Offense: The Crimson Tide's work up front still sets the standard for trench play in college football. Bama -- which is averaging a methodically dominant 211 yards per game on the ground, including 3.3 yards before contact per designed run, which ranks tied for 15th in the nation, per ESPN Stats & Information -- continues to employ the same disciplined, bread-and-butter run scheme that has been the staple of its recent dynasty.


To see Kevin Carter's complete updated ranking of the top five line-of-scrimmage teams in college football, become an ESPN Insider today.

• College football analyst for ESPN
• 14-year NFL defensive end; No. 6 overall pick in 1995 draft
• All-American at University of Florida