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September 23, 2008
Power rankings: Moreno leaps to top spot
Sophomore running back Knowshon Moreno helped Georgia clear one more hurdle on its path to an undefeated season. Along the way, he vaulted to the top of the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings.
Knowshon Moreno lept into the Heisman race with another big performance.
"He's an acrobat," Arizona State safety Troy Nolan said afterward.
The first big week of conference showdowns this season produced plenty of changes atop the power rankings. Missouri's Chase Coffman regained his position as the No. 1 tight end after a two-week absence. Coffman caught 10 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown in a 42-21 victory over Buffalo to move ahead of BYU's Dennis Pitta, who had three receptions for 24 yards in a 44-0 shutout of Wyoming.
Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith moved atop the defensive back rankings after recording one of the Demon Deacons' five interceptions in a 12-3 triumph over Florida State. Smith, who leads the nation in pass breakups, took over the top spot from Tennessee strong safety Eric Berry.
Florida's Brandon James is the new No. 1 special teams player after scoring on a 78-yard punt return and setting up a touchdown with a 52-yard kickoff return in a 30-6 rout of Tennessee. James, who moved ahead of Missouri's Jeremy Maclin, scored on a 74-yard punt return against Hawaii earlier this season.
"I thought the one against Hawaii was the best one I'd seen," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "He topped it with this one. He even said to me that might have been his best."
Players and coaches remaining atop their respective positions included Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher, South Florida defensive end George Selvie, Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, USC coach Pete Carroll, Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Christensen and Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster.
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.
Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.