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October 30, 2007

Comeback helps make Ryan top QB

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

Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan refuses to compare himself to Doug Flutie. He'll leave that to the rest of us.

Ryan delivered the type of comeback last week that brought back memories of Flutie's miracle pass against Miami that highlighted the former Boston College star's 1984 Heisman Trophy season.

By throwing two touchdown passes in the final 2:11 of a 14-10 victory at Virginia Tech, Ryan catapulted to the top of the Rivals.com Power Rankings, which measure the nation's best players and coaches at each position.

"What Doug did for Boston College and the heroics he displayed and the plays he made while he was here were phenomenal and really unbelievable,'' Ryan said Monday in a conference call. "I don't think about myself too much in that light."

Ryan struggled for much of last week's game with Virginia Tech before staging one of the most stunning comebacks in recent memory.

His perfectly thrown 16-yard touchdown pass to Rich Gunnell cut Virginia Tech's lead to 10-7 with 2:11 remaining. After Boston College recovered an onside kick, Ryan threw an off-balance 24-yard touchdown pass to Andre Callender with 11 seconds remaining to help Boston College remain unbeaten.

Ryan directed these two touchdown drives while calling his own plays and running away from pass rushers in a driving rain.

"There's certainly a lot of responsibility and freedom for the quarterback in Coach (offensive coordinator Steve) Logan's offense," Ryan said. "It's been a lot of fun. You prepare as best you can during the week to know what you want to do in those situations. I worked really hard with Coach Logan and the offense all season really. I think we've been very well prepared for our two-minute situations, and we did a very good job the other night."

Ryan's big comeback helped move him ahead of Florida's Tim Tebow in the quarterback rankings. Tebow threw a touchdown pass and rushed for two more scores last week in a 42-30 loss to Georgia.

The quarterback switch wasn't the only change atop the power rankings. Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart, Missouri tight end Martin Rucker, Penn State linebacker Dan Connor and Oregon offensive coordinator Chip Kelly also moved to the top of their respective positions.

Stewart rushed for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 24-17 victory over Southern California to jump ahead of Michigan's Mike Hart, who has missed two consecutive games with a sprained ankle. Oregon's victory also allowed Kelly to take over the No. 1 position at offensive coordinator after Kentucky's 31-14 loss to Mississippi State caused Joker Phillips to slip from the top spot.

Rucker caught seven passes for 66 yards and scored his fourth touchdown of the season Saturday in a 42-28 victory over Iowa State. Rucker moved ahead of Southern California's Fred Davis, who was held to one catch for 11 yards in the loss to Oregon.

Connor replaced Ohio State's James Laurinaitis as our No. 1 linebacker even though his team lost the head-to-head matchup with the Buckeyes. Connor recorded 18 tackles and intercepted a pass in Penn State's 37-17 loss to Ohio State. Laurinaitis assisted on two tackles in that game.

Players and coaches remaining atop the rankings this week include Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Michigan offensive lineman Jake Long, LSU defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey, Ohio State defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Heacock.

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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