Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason knocked Oregon out of national title contention and catapulted himself to the top of the Rivals.com Power Rankings.
Cason broke up five passes and scored two touchdowns, on a 42-yard interception return and a 56-yard punt return, Thursday in a 34-24 victory over Oregon. That performance made Cason the new No. 1 defensive back in our power rankings, which measure the nation's top players and coaches at each position.
Cason, a senior, has 69 tackles, five interceptions and two forced fumbles this season. He also has scored twice on interception returns and twice on punt returns.
Those impressive numbers helped Cason move ahead of Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib, who had seven tackles and broke up two passes Saturday in a 45-7 rout of Iowa State.
Oregon's loss to Arizona also had an impact elsewhere in the power rankings.
Missouri's Dave Christensen has replaced Oregon's Chip Kelly as our top offensive coordinator. Missouri whipped Kansas State 49-32 last week and is ranked fourth in the nation in total offense and sixth in the nation in scoring offense.
Oregon's Dennis Dixon suffered a season-ending injury to his left knee against Arizona and consequently fell out of the rankings after being the nation's second-best quarterback last week. Rivals.com's power rankings don't include players who have injuries that will keep them out for the rest of the season. Oklahoma State wide receiver Adarius Bowman remains in the power rankings because of the possibility he could return from his knee injury in time for a bowl.
The only other change at the top came at defensive coordinator. One week after falling from the No. 1 spot, Ohio State's Jim Heacock returns to his familiar position on the strength of the Buckeyes' 14-3 victory over Michigan. Heacock supplanted Virginia Tech's Bud Foster, whose team whipped Miami 44-14 last week.
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.