Alabama played well enough without Mark Ingram in the first two games of the season that it created speculation the Crimson Tide didn't necessarily need the reigning Heisman winner.
So much for that notion.
Ingram was the best player on the field Saturday and emerged as the deciding factor as Alabama rallied from a 13-point deficit for a 24-20 victory over host Arkansas. Ingram rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries in his second game since returning from knee surgery.
His clutch performance made Ingram the new No. 1 running back in the Rivals.com College Football Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.
"My main goal is to go out there and make plays to put our team in the best position to win games," Ingram told reporters afterward. "Everything else is secondary, and everything else will take care of itself."
Ingram took over the top spot in the running back rankings from Kansas State's Daniel Thomas, who was held to 76 yards on 22 carries in a 17-13 triumph over UCF.
The Alabama-Arkansas game also produced the only other change atop the power rankings. Alabama's ability to force Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett into a career-high three interceptions made Kirby Smart the new No. 1 defensive coordinator. Smart moved ahead of TCU's Dick Bumpas, whose team allowed 361 yards of total offense in a 41-24 victory over SMU.
The power rankings measure overall career performances as well as a player or coach's most recent results. The rating of a player and coach can fluctuate each week during the season depending on how he fared the previous week. Our coordinator rankings exclude coordinators who don't call their own plays or signals.