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September 30, 2008

Power rankings: Ringer takes over top spot

Rivals.com Power Rankings by Position: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST
Coaches Power Rankings: Head Coach | Off. Coordinator | Def. Coordinator

Michigan State's Javon Ringer called his last game one of the toughest he has had running the ball. And he still managed to gain 198 yards against Indiana.

Ringer's ability to carry Michigan State's offense on his shoulders makes him the new No. 1 running back in the Rivals.com Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top players and coaches at each position.

"Ringer's strong," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. "He'll just keep coming."

No kidding.

Ringer already has 187 carries 41 more than anyone else in the nation. He has carried the ball at least 34 times in each of his past four games and has exceeded the 40-carry mark in two of his past three games.

Ringer, a senior from Dayton, Ohio, carried the ball a career-high 44 times against Indiana while reaching the 100-yard mark for the fourth consecutive game. Ringer has run for 681 yards in the past three games, which represents the third-highest three-game stretch in Michigan State history.

"They just continued to hit throughout the entire game," Ringer said. "They never got tired. They never just were ready to roll over. They played great. This is one of the toughest times I've had running the ball, but credit to my offensive line for providing the little creases I needed just to keep moving."

Ringer's heavy workload hasn't limited his effectiveness. He ranks second in the nation with 897 rushing yards and has an NCAA-leading 12 touchdown runs.

His 198-yard performance against Indiana ended a string of 200-yard games. Ringer rushed for 282 yards two weeks ago in a 17-0 victory over Florida Atlantic and ran for 201 yards last week in a 23-7 triumph over Notre Dame. The 282-yard outing represented the fourth-highest single-game total in Michigan State history.

"You can hit him and hit him and hit him, and he just keeps on coming," Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said after his team's loss to Michigan State. "I think I learned a long time ago that one attribute that great players have is stamina, and he obviously has great stamina."

The only other changes atop the power rankings involved coaches. Oklahoma's 35-10 victory over TCU allowed Bob Stoops to take over as the No. 1 head coach. Stoops moved ahead of USC's Pete Carroll, whose team lost 27-21 to Oregon State.

Texas' Will Muschamp moved atop the defensive coordinator rankings after the Longhorns' 52-10 trouncing of Arkansas. Muschamp replaced Virginia Tech's Bud Foster, whose team outlasted Nebraska 35-30.

Players and coaches remaining atop their respective positions were Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Missouri tight end Chase Coffman, Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher, South Florida defensive end George Selvie, Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith, Florida kick returner Brandon James and Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Christensen.

The rating of a player and coach can fluctuate each week during the season depending on how they fared the previous week, but the power rankings measure overall career performances as well as their most recent results.

Rivals.com Power Rankings by Position: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST
Coaches Power Rankings: Head Coach | Off. Coordinator | Def. Coordinator

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com.

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