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November 22, 2011

Color Orange takes hit in power rankings

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

There isn't nearly as much orange atop this week's version of the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings.

Losses by Clemson and Oklahoma State caused a major shakeup in the power rankings, which measure the nation's best performers at each position. Oklahoma State had three players (QB Brandon Weeden, WR Justin Blackmon, K/P Quinn Sharp) and Clemson had two representatives (TE Dwayne Allen and offensive coordinator Chad Morris) at the top of their respective positions last week.

Only Blackmon remains at the No. 1 spot this week.

Blackmon caught 10 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown Friday in Oklahoma State's 37-31 double-overtime loss at Iowa State. Weeden threw for 476 yards and three touchdowns, but he also was intercepted three times. Sharp averaged 47.8 yards per punt and made a 29-yard field goal, but he also missed a 37-yard attempt that would have put the Cowboys ahead with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter.

Baylor's Robert Griffin replaces Weeden as the No. 1 quarterback. Griffin threw for a school-record 479 yards and four touchdowns Saturday as Baylor beat Oklahoma 45-38 for its first win over the Sooners in 21 attempts. Griffin's 34-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams broke a tie with eight seconds remaining. Griffin also rushed for 72 yards against the Sooners and set a single-game school record with 551 yards of total offense. He has thrown for 3,572 yards this season to break the school record he set a year ago.

[Rivals.com experts: What we learned in Week 12]

"It's another day at the office for Robert," Baylor coach Art Briles said after the game. "He's been doing that for three or four years. When the ball's in his hands, good things happen because he's very intelligent, very gifted."

The new No. 1 special teams player is Nebraska's Brett Maher, who made a 51-yard field goal and averaged 46 yards per punt Saturday in a 45-17 loss to Michigan. Maher has gone 17-of-20 on field goals this season, including 3-of-6 from at least 50 yards out. He ranks seventh nationally in punting with an average of 45.4 yards per attempt.

Allen and Morris fell from the top of the power rankings after Clemson's 37-13 loss to N.C. State. Allen caught three passes for 18 yards Saturday as Clemson failed to reach the end zone until 1:22 remained in the game.

Stanford's Coby Fleener took over Allen's spot atop the tight end rankings. Fleener caught four passes for 64 yards Saturday in a 31-28 victory over California. He has 28 receptions for 551 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

Wisconsin's Paul Chryst moved to the top of the offensive coordinator rankings. Wisconsin ranks fifth nationally with 44.8 points per game and hasn't been held below 28 points all season.

Alabama running back Trent Richardson, USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil, Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, LSU coach Les Miles and LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis joined Blackmon in remaining atop their respective positions.

The rankings put a special emphasis on recent performances while also taking career achievements into consideration. Our coordinator rankings exclude coordinators who don't call their own plays or signals.

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, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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