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September 18, 2007

Versatile Talib seeing how other half lives

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

Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib has never faced a wide receiver he didn't have the ability to defend.

Then again, he's never had to line up against himself.

Talib possesses so much versatility that he actually has caught more touchdown passes than he's allowed this season. His combination of cover skills and receiving prowess has moved him to a No. 1 spot in the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings, which measure the top players and coaches at each position.

One year after leading the nation in passes defended, Talib has caught a touchdown pass in each of the Jayhawks' first three games. Although he leads the Jayhawks with three touchdown catches, this two-way threat is best known for his ability as a cover corner.

Talib recorded his first interception of the season last week in a 45-13 victory over Toledo. His performance catapulted him to the No. 1 spot in our defensive back rankings. Talib moved ahead of Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason, whose team allowed 327 passing yards Saturday in a 29-27 loss to New Mexico.

Other newcomers atop the power rankings this week include Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan and Missouri tight end Martin Rucker.

Brennan rushed for three touchdowns and passed for two more scores Saturday in a 49-14 triumph over UNLV. He has thrown for 12 touchdowns and one interception this season.

The Hawaii senior jumped ahead of Louisville's Brian Brohm, who threw for 366 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a 40-34 loss to Kentucky.

Rucker took over as the new No. 1 tight end after catching 11 passes for 115 yards Saturday in a 52-24 rout of Western Michigan. Rucker replaced Wisconsin's Travis Beckum, who compiled four receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown in a 45-31 victory over The Citadel.

Players and coaches remaining in the top spots at their respective positions included Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, Southern California offensive lineman Sam Baker, LSU defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey, Penn State linebacker Dan Connor, California punt returner DeSean Jackson, Florida coach Urban Meyer, Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini.

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.

By the end of the season, our power rankings should provide an accurate indicator of which players and coaches were the best at their respective positions.

Rivals.com Power Rankings by Position:
QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST | Coaches: 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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