Ranking the SEC: DL

Next week, SEC Media Days kick off followed by the release of the all-conference teams. As usual, there will be several expected selections and some surprises. In anticipation of the new season getting underway, here's a look at how the league's defensive linemen stack up.

The best overall player in the league may play on LSU's defensive line. Good enough to give the Tigers the top D-line in the conference, but how does Florida and Georgia stack up after losing a lot upfront?

#1 LSU - The Tigers allowed the fewest rushing touchdowns in the SEC last season and were one of only two teams to hold opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing per game. Throw in a league-high 39 sacks and arguably the best player in the conference in tackle Glen Dorsey and LSU has the best defensive front in the league.

#2 Auburn - Auburn has All-SEC veteran talent on the end with Quentin Groves and inside with Josh Thompson. They're loaded with depth and only allowed eight rushing touchdowns in 2006.

#3 Arkansas - The Razorbacks recorded 37 sacks last year – good for second in the SEC. They allowed the fourth fewest rushing touchdowns in the conference and finished third in rushing yards per game. With Antwain Robinson on the end who recorded seven sacks last season, Arkansas will be good, but the health of tackle Marcus Harrison who went down with a torn ACL in the spring could be the wildcard.

#4 Alabama - The Crimson Tide had a bad season last year by their standards, but still held opponents to less than 125 rushing yards per game and only a dozen touchdowns on the ground. But they only got to opposing quarterbacks 13 times. They'll have to adjust to a new three-man front, though.

#5 Tennessee - The Vols had a down year last season as well, but they are loaded with talent. Tennessee only allowed 12 touchdowns on the ground, but allowed almost 150 rushing yards per game with just 17 sacks a year ago.

#6 Georgia - Coming off a phenomenal season, Georgia held opponents to only 108 yards on the ground and recorded 33 sacks a year ago. But most of the line has moved on to the next level. Still, the Bulldogs have young talent and a history of being good.

#7 Florida - Every one found out exactly what Derrick Harvey is capable of in the BCS title game in January. But the Gators lack experience across the rest of the line. There's depth, though, and they'll have upperclassmen starting at the tackle spots. Plus, there may be no better teacher in the league than Greg Mattison.

#8 Ole Miss - The Rebels improved their defensive line play a year ago, but there's still a ways to go after allowing nearly 160 rushing yards per game and only chasing down 14 sacks. There is potential for improvement in Oxford led by sophomore end Marcus Tillman.

#9 Vanderbilt - The good news for the Commodores last season was a respectable pass rush, but their run defense was the league's third worst. They did improve throughout the year and return converted linebacker to end Curtis Gatewood who posted seven sacks last year.

#10 South Carolina - Undersized and undermanned a year ago, South Carolina moved last year's line to other units on the team to make way for three newcomers who are projected to start in the fall. They'll be young and inexperienced, but will have room to improve.

#11 Mississippi State - With All-SEC Titus Brown at end who finished fifth in the league in sacks and third for tackles for a loss, the Bulldogs are talented on the edge, but there's not much inside. Mississippi State held opponents to 115 rushing yards per game last season, but allowed the second highest total of rushing touchdowns with 16.

#12 Kentucky - The Wildcats ranked No. 108 in college football last season, allowing 185 yards per game. They also allowed 24 rushing

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