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October 5, 2010

Power rankings: Oregon's James runs to top

Power Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST
Head coach | Offensive coach | Defensive coach

Call him "The Comeback Kid."

Whenever Oregon has fallen behind this season, sophomore tailback LaMichael James has brought the Ducks right back.

James scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 72-yard run when Oregon rallied from a 10-point deficit in a 48-13 rout of Tennessee. He rushed for 114 yards as Oregon came from 10 points down in a 41-24 victory over Arizona State. And he ran for a career-high 257 yards and three touchdowns Saturday as Oregon dug its way out of a 21-3 hole in a 52-31 victory over Stanford.

His performance against Stanford made James the No. 1 running back in the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.

"We've just got to finish," James told reporters afterward. "We've been down to Tennessee. We were down last week [against Arizona State]. You've just got to overcome that. You can't worry about the score. You've just got to keep playing your game.

"This team here really buys into the system. We're down, but we know eventually something's going to break."

James often is the one delivering the breakaway. He scored the go-ahead touchdown against Stanford on a 3-yard burst and delivered a game-clinching 76-yard scamper late in the fourth quarter.

"It's hard to keep up with us because we practice so fast," James said. "We put a lot into it in practice before the game. [In] the third and fourth quarter, if we're down a touchdown or 10 points or whatever, we feel confident because of our tempo."

James took over the top spot from Alabama's Mark Ingram, who ran for 47 yards on 12 carries in a 31-6 victory over Florida.

In the only other change atop the power rankings, Florida State guard Rodney Hudson replaced Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi as the No. 1 offensive lineman.

Hudson, a four-year starter, helped Florida State average more than 6.0 yards per carry in a 34-14 triumph over Virginia. Wisconsin allowed two sacks and gained just 292 yards of total offense in a 34-24 loss at Michigan State.

"The offensive line came out and did a phenomenal job," Florida State running back Jermaine Thomas told reporters after the game. "I was getting a lot of good hooks on the stretches, and they were making a lot of good run blocks."

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles, Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph, Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones, Alabama coach Nick Saban, Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart remained atop their respective positions. LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson continues to top the defensive back and special teams rankings.

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

Power Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST
Head coach | Offensive coach | Defensive coach

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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