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October 28, 2008

Power rankings: Moreno jumps to 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

The monthlong battle between Michigan State's Javon Ringer and Ohio State's Chris Wells atop the Rivals.com Power Rankings finally has a winner.

His name is Knowshon Moreno.

Moreno rushed for 163 yards on just 21 carries against LSU last weekend to emerge as the new No. 1 running back in the power rankings, which measure the nation's top players and coaches at each position. Wells and Ringer had traded places at the top spot for each of the past four weeks.

"We were focused on the task ahead of us," Moreno said after the Bulldogs' 52-38 victory over the defending national champions. "We just made sure that everything we did, we did it crisp, and it paid off for us."

Moreno "only" ranks 14th in the nation in rushing at 115.6 yards per game, but the sophomore has heated up in the second half of the season. His 163-yard effort against LSU followed a 172-yard performance in a 24-14 victory over Vanderbilt.

The Georgia star has averaged 6.2 yards per carry and has run for 12 touchdowns to tie for fifth in the nation. Only Ringer, Connecticut's Donald Brown, Ball State's MiQuale Lewis and Pittsburgh's LeSean McCoy have more touchdown runs this season.

Moreno replaced Wells as the No. 1 running back. Wells gained just 55 yards on 22 carries last week in a 13-6 loss to Penn State.

The only other change atop the power rankings came at the offensive coordinator position, where Oklahoma's Kevin Wilson moved ahead of Penn State's Galen Hall.

Oklahoma scored 55 points in the first half of a 58-35 victory over Kansas State last week even though quarterback Sam Bradford only completed 13 of 32 passes in the game. Oklahoma ranks second in the nation in scoring (48.3 points per game) and fourth in total offense (542.1 yards per game).

Players and coaches remaining atop their respective positions included Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Missouri tight end Chase Coffman, Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith, Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo, Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, Tennessee strong safety Eric Berry, Florida punt returner Brandon James, Texas coach Mack Brown 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.

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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