December 2, 2008

Power rankings: Tight end spot up for grabs

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

Saturday's showdown in Kansas City won't merely decide the Big 12 champion. It also figures to determine the nation's best tight end.

Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham and Missouri's Chase Coffman have established themselves as the best players at their position. Each player scored two touchdowns last week.

Gresham delivered a particularly impressive performance by catching nine passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns in a 61-41 triumph over Oklahoma State. The exceptional outing moved Gresham ahead of Coffman in the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top players and coaches at each position.

Gresham set up one touchdown by catching a pass off a deflection on a third-and-1 play. Later in the game, he scored a 73-yard touchdown by catching another deflected pass.

"You can't even really explain how he played tonight," Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford said afterward. "He was out there making catches. The third-down play going in at the half the ball was tipped up and he keeps going with it and makes the catch and gets the first down for us. I thought he played unreal. And he's been doing it all year."

Coffman has been delivering similar performances for much of the season. He caught six passes for 53 yards and two touchdowns last week in a 40-37 loss to Kansas, but still dropped out of the top spot in the tight end rankings because he wasn't quite as spectacular as Gresham.

In the only other change at the top of the power rankings, Utah kicker/punter Louie Sakoda replaced Florida State kicker/punter Graham Gano as the No. 1 special teams player. Gano made three field goals Saturday in a 45-15 loss to Florida, but he also had an extra-point attempt blocked.

Players and coaches remaining atop their respective positions were Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, Iowa running back Shonn Greene, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith, Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo, Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, Tennessee strong safety Eric Berry, Alabama coach Nick Saban, Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and USC defensive coordinator Nick Holt.

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.

The final regular-season edition of the power rankings comes out next week. We also will put together one more version of the power rankings at the end of bowl season.

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.



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