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October 12, 2010

Power rankings: Jeffery rises to top

Power Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST
Head coach | Offensive coach | Defensive coach

South Carolina sophomore wide receiver Alshon Jeffery made one big mistake last weekend.

That error merely proved he's human.

Jeffery let a pass bounce off his hands and into the arms of Alabama's Will Lowery for an interception Saturday, but he also caught seven passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns in the Gamecocks' 35-21 upset of the top-ranked Crimson Tide. His 45-yard catch in the fourth quarter led to South Carolina's clinching touchdown.

His big performance makes Jeffery the new No. 1 wide receiver in the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.

"He just catches everything," South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia told reporters after the game. "I'm not dwelling on the interception. The guy knocked it out of his hands as he was coming down. It doesn't matter anymore because he made up for it with that one-handed catch that he took 45 yards down the field. That was the game-changer right there.

"You really can't say enough about that kid."

South Carolina's victory also caused Alabama coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to fall from the top of the rankings.

The new No. 1 coach is Boise State's Chris Petersen, whose team defeated Toledo 57-14 for its 19th consecutive victory. Smart was replaced by TCU's Dick Bumpas, who helped the Horned Frogs blank Wyoming 45-0 for their second consecutive shutout.

Plenty of other changes also affected the top of the power rankings following the most tumultuous week of the season.

Boise State's Kellen Moore moved to the top of the quarterback rankings after throwing for 267 yards and three touchdowns against Toledo. Moore, who is the NCAA passing efficiency leader, moved ahead of Michigan's Denard Robinson, who threw three interceptions in a 34-17 loss to Michigan State.

LSU tackle Drake Nevis is the new No. 1 defensive lineman after collecting 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in a 33-29 victory over Florida. Nevis took over the top spot from Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan, who delivered four solo tackles and a sack in a 20-17 triumph over Northwestern.

Oregon's Cliff Harris moved to the top of the special teams rankings after scoring on a 67-yard punt return in a 43-23 victory over Washington. Harris has reached the end zone on three punt returns this season. He moved ahead of LSU's Patrick Peterson, who fumbled a punt return in the Tigers' victory over Florida.

Peterson remained atop the defensive back rankings. Oregon running back LaMichael James, Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph, Florida State guard Rodney Hudson, Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones and Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson also maintained their No. 1 status at their respective positions.

The power rankings measure overall career performances as well as a player or coach's most recent results. The rating of a player and coach can fluctuate each week during the season depending on how he fared the previous week. Our coordinator rankings exclude coordinators who don't call their own plays or signals.

Power Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST
Head coach | Offensive coach | Defensive coach

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.



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