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November 8, 2011

Power rankings: Bad break for Broyles

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

For the past two seasons, it had ranked among the biggest college football debates in Big 12 country.

Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon or Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles? Which one's better? Who would you rather have on your team? The matter was settled Saturday in heartbreaking fashion.

Broyles, the NCAA's career leader in receptions, tore the ACL in his left knee Saturday in a 41-25 victory over Texas A&M. Broyles ends his career with 349 catches for 4,586 yards and 45 touchdowns. The only player in FBS history with more career receiving yards is Trevor Insley, with 5,005 for Nevada from 1996-99.

"It is just a bad deal," Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones told reporters after the game. "There is nothing we can do about it. It is just one of those things that happens."

Broyles' injury led to Blackmon regaining his status as the No. 1 receiver in the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position. Broyles had been in the top spot for the past three weeks, but his season-ending injury caused him to fall out of the rankings entirely. Blackmon had been our top receiver for the first two months of the season, before Broyles passed him.

Blackmon caught 13 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns Saturday in a 52-45 triumph over Kansas State. Although he did lose two fumbles in the game - one of which turned a potential touchdown into a touchback - Blackmon's big plays more than made up for his turnovers. Blackmon has caught 32 touchdown passes in his past 21 games.

LSU's 9-6 overtime victory over Alabama in the most anticipated game of the season also produced some changes atop the power rankings. By beating his predecessor at LSU for a second consecutive season, Les Miles took over the No. 1 position in the coach rankings from Alabama's Nick Saban. LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne also moved ahead of teammate Tyrann Mathieu to take over the top spot in the defensive back rankings.

Claiborne set up a field goal against Alabama by delivering a 33-yard interception return that gave LSU the ball at the Tide's 15. He also recorded three tackles and had a pass breakup. Mathieu had five tackles and a pass breakup.

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen, Boise State offensive tackle Nate Potter, Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, Oklahoma State punter/kicker Quinn Sharp, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis remained atop their respective positions.

The rankings put a special emphasis on recent performances while also taking career achievements into consideration. Our coordinator rankings exclude coordinators who don't call their own plays or signals.

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, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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