October 17, 2006

More Buckeyes move up Power Rankings

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The team atop every major national poll also is taking over the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings.

Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel already was rated as the No. 1 head coach and Troy Smith was listed as the top quarterback in the power rankings, which measure the nation's best players and coaches at each position. This week, Ohio State kick returner Ted Ginn Jr. and defensive coordinator Jim Heacock also moved to the top of the charts.

Ginn regained his status as the No. 1 special teams player after breaking a Big Ten record Saturday with his sixth career punt return for a touchdown. Ginn's 60-yard punt return in a 34-7 victory over Michigan State broke a record he had shared with Iowa's Tim Dwight, who returned five punt returns for touchdowns from 1994-97.

The electrifying junior needs to return two more punts for touchdowns to break the NCAA career record shared by Texas Tech's Wes Welker (2000-03) and Oklahoma's Antonio Perkins (2001-04).

Rivals.com had ranked Ginn as the nation's No. 1 special teams player for most of the season before Indiana's Marcus Thigpen replaced him last week. Thigpen has returned three kickoffs for touchdowns this season.

Heacock was rated as the top defensive coordinator for the way he has quickly rebuilt a defense that lost nine starters from last season. Ohio State has allowed just nine points per game and is ranked third in the nation in scoring defense.

He replaced Texas' Gene Chizik, whose team defeated Baylor 63-31 last week.

Players or coaches maintaining their status as the best at their respective positions included Tressel, Smith, Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson, Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Minnesota tight end Matt Spaeth, LSU defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey, Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis, California defensive back Daymeion Hughes and Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe.

Peterson remained atop the power rankings despite breaking his collarbone last week because of the possibility that he could return in time for a bowl game. Players who suffer season-ending injuries are automatically removed from consideration, which explains why Washington quarterback Isaiah Stanback and Iowa State defensive back DeAndre Jackson fell off the list.

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.

For example, Florida quarterback Chris Leak committed two critical turnovers in the fourth quarter and Brandon Cox completed two-thirds of his passes in the Tigers' 27-17 victory over the Gators last week.

Leak moved down our quarterback rankings because of that performance, but he remained ahead of Cox. Even though Cox played better in that game, we believe Leak is the better quarterback.

By the end of the season, our power ratings 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 7.


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