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October 16, 2007

Hart battles his way to top of rankings

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

The man who made the most famous guarantee of the college football season continues to live up to his word.

After his team opened the season with two consecutive losses, Michigan's Mike Hart boldly guaranteed the Wolverines would beat Notre Dame the following week. Michigan hasn't lost since, and Hart is the biggest reason.

Hart leads the nation in rushing and has helped direct Michigan to the top of the Big Ten standings. Hart's huge season has him atop the running back list in the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings, which measure the nation's best players and coaches at each position.

He rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-21 victory over Purdue last weekend despite sitting out the second half with an ankle injury. Hart has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his seven games this season.

Hart's consistent production allowed him to move ahead of Arkansas' Darren McFadden as the nation's top running back. McFadden dropped from the top spot after gaining just 43 yards on 17 carries in a 9-7 loss to Auburn.

The only other changes at the top this week involved the rankings of coordinators. Kentucky's Joker Phillips replaced LSU's Gary Crowton as the No. 1 offensive coordinator following the Wildcats' 43-37 triple-overtime upset of the Tigers. Kentucky's victory also caused Ohio State's Jim Heacock to supplant LSU's Bo Pelini as the nation's top defensive coordinator.

Players and coaches remaining atop their respective positions were Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Wisconsin tight end Travis Beckum, Michigan offensive lineman Jake Long, LSU defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey, Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis, Ohio State defensive back Malcolm Jenkins and Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.

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.

Rivals.com Power Rankings by Position:
QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST | Coaches: 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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