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December 7, 2010

Power rankings: Henery a special kicker

Power Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST
Head coach | Offensive coach | Defensive coach

Nebraska kicker Alex Henery's omission from the group of Lou Groza Award finalists seemed strange when the list came out two weeks ago.

His absence seems even odder now.

Henery made field goals from 53 and 42 yards away and also averaged 46 yards per punt Saturday in Nebraska's 23-20 Big 12 championship game loss to Oklahoma. Henery set a record for the longest field goal in Big 12 championship game history, became Nebraska's leading career scorer and improved to 18-of-19 on field goals and 53-of-53 on extra points this season.

Henery, a senior, won't win the award given annually to the nation's top kicker, but he will head into bowl season as the new No. 1 special teams player in the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.

Henery's two field goals and two extra points Saturday gave him 396 career points to break the school record previously held by Kris Brown, who served as Nebraska's kicker from 1995-98. Henery's 53-yarder against Oklahoma was the longest field goal a Husker had made away from Lincoln, surpassing his record of 52 set at Oklahoma State this season.

He has gone 68-of-76 on field-goal attempts during his career. He is 10-of-11 from at least 40 yards away this season, and his only miss was from 51 yards.

Henery took over the top spot in the special teams rankings from Oregon's Cliff Harris, who lost a fumble on a punt return Saturday in a 37-20 victory over Oregon State.

The shift at special teams represented the only change at the top of the power rankings this week.

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, Oregon running back LaMichael James, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, Missouri tight end Michael Egnew, Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, TCU coach Gary Patterson, Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Heacock remained atop their respective positions.

The power rankings measure overall career performances as well as a player or coach's most recent results. The rating of a player and coach can fluctuate each week during the season depending on how he fared the previous week. Our coordinator rankings exclude coordinators who don't call their own plays or signals.

Power Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST
Head coach | Offensive coach | Defensive coach

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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