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October 21, 2008
Power rankings: Longhorns claim top spots
The No. 1 team in the initial BCS chart also has placed a few more representatives atop the Rivals.com Power Rankings.
Texas' back-to-back victories over Oklahoma and Missouri helped quarterback Colt McCoy and coach Mack Brown move to the top of the power rankings, which measure the nation's best players and coaches at each position.
McCoy replaced Oklahoma's Sam Bradford as the No. 1 quarterback after going 29-of-32 for 332 yards, throwing two touchdown passes and running for two more scores in a 56-31 victory over Missouri. McCoy has 19 touchdown passes, six touchdown runs and only three interceptions for the top-ranked Longhorns.
"He just needs to continue to be who he is," Brown said. "I don't know if we need him to play any better. He's showing fantastic leadership, he's poised and he's not into all of the hype. It's not affecting him at all. … I've never seen him this settled, comfortable and this confident before."
The Longhorns' convincing victory over Missouri also allowed Brown to move to the No. 1 position in the coach rankings. Brown leapfrogged Alabama's Nick Saban, whose team edged Ole Miss 24-20 last week.
McCoy and Brown join teammate Brian Orakpo atop the power rankings. Orakpo moved to the No. 1 spot in the defensive line rankings last week after recording two sacks in a 45-35 triumph over Oklahoma.
The moves by Brown and McCoy didn't represent the only changes at the top of the rankings.
Ohio State's Chris Wells and Michigan State's Javon Ringer continued their recent tug-of-war at running back. The two Big Ten backs have spent the past few weeks trading places at the top spot. Wells moved back ahead of Ringer this week after outperforming him in their head-to-head battle. Wells rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries in Ohio State's 45-7 rout of Michigan State. Ringer mustered just 67 yards on 16 carries, though he also caught six passes for 19 yards against the Buckeyes.
Players and coaches remaining atop their respective positions aside from Orakpo are Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Missouri tight end Chase Coffman, Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry, Florida kick returner Brandon James, Penn State offensive coordinator Galen Hall and Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley.
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. By the end of the season, our power rankings should provide an accurate indicator of which players and coaches were the best at their respective positions.
Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.