This week's SEC Ratings

Maybe Ron Zook and Casey Clausen should play all of their games away from home.

After winning at LSU and at Arkansas the past two weekends, Zook stands 6-1 in SEC road/neutral site games in his first two years as Florida's head man, including 3-0 this fall. Conversely, Zook's record in SEC home games is a modest 3-3, including 0-2 this season.

Clausen, meanwhile, has an 11-1 road record as Tennessee's starting quarterback -- the loss coming two weeks ago at Auburn.

Florida's 33-28 defeat of homestanding Arkansas was the SEC's biggest shocker last weekend. Ole Miss' 43-28 manhandling of Alabama was considered an upset in some circles but the severity of the beating surely ranks as a surprise.

Whereas Florida and Auburn (five wins in a row) are the SEC's hottest teams, Bama ranks as one of the league's coldest teams. The Tide has now lost four of its last five games, bowing to Northern Illinois, Arkansas, Georgia and Ole Miss. The only victory came against Southern Miss two weeks ago in Tuscaloosa. Only Vanderbilt, which has lost six straight after beating UT-Chattanooga, has been more inept than the Tide over the past few weeks.

The big game this weekend, of course, finds Auburn (4-0) visiting LSU (3-1) in a game that probably will determine the winner of the SEC West title. As mentioned earlier, Auburn is riding a five-game winning streak and is coming off a 45-13 annihilation of Mississippi State. LSU bounced back from a homefield loss to Florida two weeks ago to trounce homestanding South Carolina 33-7 last weekend.

Another big game, however, finds Arkansas visiting Ole Miss. The Razorbacks are 1-2 in SEC play after losing back-to-back home games to Auburn and Florida and must win to keep their faint West Division title hopes alive. Ole Miss, meanwhile, is 3-0 in SEC play for the first time since 1970. Since suffering September losses to Memphis and Texas Tech, the Rebels have beaten Florida, Arkansas State and Alabama -- improving to 5-2 overall and solidifying the job security of head man David Cutcliffe.

That said, here are this week's SEC ratings, based on the usual 1-10 scale:

SEC EAST
Georgia 9.0
Florida 8.0
Tennessee 7.5
South Carolina 6.0
Kentucky 5.5
Vanderbilt 3.5

SEC WEST
Auburn 8.5
LSU 8.5
Arkansas 7.5
Ole Miss 7.5
Alabama 6.0
Miss. State 4.0


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