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May 21, 2008

Missouri won't sneak up on anyone in 2008

MORE: Video: Tops at each position | Photo Gallery: Head Coach Power Rankings

Missouri caught plenty of people by surprise last season. The first edition of the 2008 Rivals.com Power Rankings indicate the Tigers won't get to sneak up on anybody this season.

Missouri had three representatives occupying No. 1 spots in the power rankings, which measure the nation's top players and coaches at each position.

Safety William Moore earned his position as the nation's top defensive back by collecting 115 tackles and picking off eight passes last season. Jeremy Maclin enters the summer as the nation's top special teams player on the strength of scoring on two punt returns and one kickoff return last year. And Dave Christensen was named the nation's top offensive coordinator. Christensen was Rivals.com's offensive coordinator of the year last season after the Tigers scored at least 31 points in all but one game on the way to finishing the season with a 12-2 record and a Cotton Bowl title.

The other team with multiple players atop the rankings was Ohio State. The Buckeyes boast the nation's top running back in Chris Wells and the game's best linebacker in reigning Butkus Award winner James Laurinaitis.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree open the season in the same No. 1 positions they occupied at the end of last season. Tebow won the Heisman Trophy and set an NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 23. Crabtree caught 134 passes for 1,962 yards and 22 touchdowns last season to set NCAA freshman records in all three categories.

Other players and coaches atop their respective positions are Wisconsin tight end Travis Beckum, Arkansas center Jonathan Luigs, South Florida defensive end George Selvie, USC coach Pete Carroll and Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster.

Rivals.com will release its second edition of the 2008 power rankings before the season and will update the rankings every Tuesday once the season starts.

MORE: Video: Tops at each position | Photo Gallery: Head Coach Power Rankings

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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