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December 5, 2006

Big 12 title boosts Stoops in Power Rankings

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The College Football Wire

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Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops led the Sooners to the Big 12 title even after losing his starting quarterback to discipline problems and his All-America tailback to injuries.

That remarkable coaching performance helped Stoops zoom toward the top of the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings.

Stoops is the new No. 2 head coach in the power rankings, which measure the nation's best players and coaches at each position. Stoops moved up from the fifth spot after Oklahoma defeated Nebraska 21-7 in the Big 12 championship game.

Although he led Oklahoma to a national championship in 2000 and brought the Sooners back to the title game in 2003 and 2004, he arguably has done his best coaching job this season.

Quarterback Rhett Bomar was kicked off the team last summer and Heisman Trophy candidate Adrian Peterson broke his collarbone at midseason. The Sooners still have compiled an 11-2 record that includes a controversial 34-33 loss to Oregon.

He wasn't the only head coach to make a big move up the charts this week.

Florida's Urban Meyer zoomed from 12th to third after the Gators beat Arkansas 38-28 in the Southeastern Conference championship game. The No. 1 head coach in our rankings is Ohio State's Jim Tressel, whose Buckeyes will face Meyer's Gators in the national championship game Jan. 8 at Glendale, Ariz.

UCLA's 13-9 upset of Southern California also had an impact on the power rankings.

DeWayne Walker entered our defensive coordinator rankings in the No. 17 spot after designing the scheme that shut down the Trojans' potent offense. USC had scored at least 20 points in 63 consecutive games until last weekend.

UCLA defensive end Bruce Davis increased his season sack total to 12 in that game, which ties him with teammate Justin Hickman for the NCAA lead among players from BCS schools. Hickman moved from 13th to 10th in our rankings of defensive linemen, while Davis soared from 21st to 14th on the list.

There were no changes at the top of our charts this week.

Players or coaches maintaining their status as the best at their respective positions included Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Minnesota tight end Matt Spaeth, Clemson defensive lineman Gaines Adams, Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis, California defensive back Daymeion Hughes, California punt returner DeSean Jackson, Ohio State's Tressel, Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe and Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster.

The rating of a player and coach can fluctuate each week depending on how they fared the previous Saturday, but the power rankings measure their overall careers as well as their most recent performances.

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.

Click here to check out the complete rankings after Week 14.



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