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Monday, November 5, 2012
Michigan 10: Week 10 power rankings

By Michael Rothstein

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A week ago, Michigan saw one version of what life could be like without Denard Robinson as its quarterback. On Saturday, the Wolverines saw a much different version.

It’ll likely take the Devin Gardner-led offense every time. Gardner’s performance Saturday showed flashes of what Michigan’s offense will look like when it transitions next season to the pro-style O the Wolverines coaches favor and what it could look like with Gardner at quarterback.

It also told Michigan it has a viable option behind Robinson at quarterback -- which was questionable after last week with Gardner at receiver and Russell Bellomy struggling through his first extended action on the road.

This all led to a shakeup in this week’s Michigan 10. Last week's rankings are in parentheses.

1. LB Jake Ryan (4): This is becoming a familiar spot for Ryan, who has bounced in and out of the top spot all year. Ryan had 9 tackles and 3 tackles for loss Saturday, again anchoring a Michigan defense that is turning into one of the best in the nation.

2. WR/QB Devin Gardner (7): The junior showed he could be Michigan’s quarterback of the future along with receiver of the present after completing 12 of 18 passes for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns against Minnesota. More importantly, he did a lot of it in the pro-style offense that coordinator Al Borges prefers.

3. LB Kenny Demens (6): The fifth-year senior had his second consecutive 10-tackle game, adding a tackle for loss. In Big Ten play, he has 40 tackles and 3 tackles for loss.

4. K Brendan Gibbons (2): Unlike previous weeks, Michigan did not need to rely on its redshirt junior kicker. He converted all five of his extra point attempts -- although he was bailed out on a miss by a Minnesota penalty, allowing him to kick again.

5. DE Craig Roh (5): The senior didn’t have much to do statistically -- 3 tackles -- but the leader of the defensive line helped hold the Gophers to 128 yards rushing.

6. S Jordan Kovacs (NR): The senior played well, notching 6 tackles and a sack against Minnesota. After a couple of sub-par weeks, Kovacs had had 5, 5 and 6 tackles in his last three games.

7. LB Desmond Morgan (3): Morgan had 5 tackles and a pass breakup against Minnesota, just adding to a good Big Ten season for him, in which he has had 35 tackles.

8. QB Denard Robinson (1): The senior earned his lowest ranking of the season, and with good reason. Not only did he not play, but Michigan saw what the future could hold with Gardner at quarterback, so it alleviates some of the concern from last week.

9. WR Jeremy Gallon (NR): Michigan’s leading receiver had 4 catches for 72 yards and a touchdown against Minnesota and also continued to be productive on end-arounds, gaining 21 yards on 2 carries. He has been Michigan’s most efficient runner other than Robinson this season.

10. S Thomas Gordon (8): Another routine week for Gordon, with 5 tackles. Gordon has become one of Michigan’s most consistent defenders and tacklers. He has made 5 or more tackles in all but two games this season.

Dropped out: WR Roy Roundtree (9); DT Quinton Washington (10)

On the cusp: Washington; J.T. Floyd; Raymon Taylor; Taylor Lewan; Frank Clark