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September 19, 2006

Power Rankings: Jarrett soars to top of WR list

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Dwayne Jarrett's return to form resulted in a return to the top of the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings.

Jarrett supplanted Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson as the nation's top wide receiver after catching 11 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns Saturday in Southern Cal's 28-10 triumph over Nebraska.

The Southern Cal junior entered the year as the top-ranked receiver, but he dropped behind Johnson and Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr. after making five catches for only 35 yards in a season-opening 50-14 victory over Arkansas.

Trojans offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin criticized Jarrett after that performance. The star receiver responded with one of the greatest games of his brilliant career.

The 6-foot-5 Jarrett dominated the Nebraska secondary by capitalizing on his height advantage over the Cornhuskers' defensive backs. He put USC ahead for good with a 12-yard catch late in the first quarter, then added a 5-yard touchdown reception early in the third period.

His second score of the night gave Jarrett 31 career touchdown receptions to break Mike Williams' school record.

Jarrett wasn't the only person to move to the top of our power ratings, which measure the nation's top players and coaches at each position.

Oregon's Gary Crowton took over as the new No. 1 offensive coordinator after the Ducks gained 501 yards of total offense in a dramatic 34-33 victory over Oklahoma. Crowton replaced Auburn's Al Borges, whose Tigers edged LSU, 7-3, despite gaining just 182 yards.

Players or coaches maintaining their status as the best at their respective positions included Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith, Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson, Oregon State tight end Joe Newton, Texas defensive lineman Frank Okam, Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis, LSU defensive back LaRon Landry, Ohio State kick returner Ted Ginn Jr., Southern Cal head coach Pete Carroll and Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster.

The ranking of a player and coach can fluctuate each week depending on how they fared the previous Saturday, but the power ratings measure their overall careers as well as their most recent performances.

For example, Michigan wide receiver Mario Manningham caught three touchdown passes and gained more than four times as many receiving yards as Notre Dame's Jeff Samardzija last weekend in the Wolverines' 47-21 thrashing of the Fighting Irish.

Did Manningham outperform Samardzija in this game? No doubt.

But is he better than Notre Dame's All-America candidate? We're not ready to say that just yet, which explains why Samardzija is still rated higher.

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 3.



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