November 3, 2009

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

His name may have faded from the spotlight after his team's first loss of the season, but Houston quarterback Case Keenum continues to deliver arguably the best results of any player in the nation.

Keenum, a junior, threw for a career-high 559 yards Saturday, including a 28-yard touchdown pass - his fifth of the game - with 21 seconds left in a 50-43 victory over Southern Miss. The performance helped Keenum regain his status as the No. 1 quarterback in the College Football Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.

"Keenum's level of play establishes an attitude for our whole team," Houston coach Kevin Sumlin said. "If we're behind, we're going to win the game. And if it's close, we're going to win that game. I don't think there's any doubt on our whole team."

Keenum leads the nation in passing yards per game (411.6), touchdown passes (25) and total offense (420.9 yards per game). He has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 24 consecutive games.

Keenum previously held the No. 1 position in the power rankings after Houston got off to a 3-0 start that included victories over Big 12 programs Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. He fell from the top spot after Houston's 58-41 loss to UTEP, but his huge effort in the shootout with Southern Miss moved him back to the front.

"Those are the fun games, where you get to go back and forth," Keenum said. "We were moving the ball, and they were doing the same."

Keenum replaced Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen atop the rankings. Clausen also played well last week, going 22-of-27 for 268 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-14 rout of Washington State.

The other change atop the power rankings came at the running back position. West Virginia's Noel Devine fell from the top spot to No. 5 after being held to 42 yards on 17 carries Friday in a loss to USF. Devine's tough night allowed Alabama's Mark Ingram to move back to the No. 1 spot after a weekend in which his team was idle.

Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate, Pittsburgh tight end Dorin Dickerson, Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood, Tennessee strong safety Eric Berry, Clemson kick returner C.J. Spiller, Florida coach Urban Meyer, Houston offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen and Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong remained atop their respective positions.

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

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