SEC Ratings, Week 5

Has anyone else noticed that the SEC teams with the stable quarterback situations were big winners last Saturday, while the teams with unstable QB situations were big losers?

Four-year starter David Greene completed five touchdown passes as Georgia hammered defending national champ LSU 45-16.

Three-year starter Jason Campbell completed 16 of 23 passes for 252 yards and two TDs as Auburn spanked Tennessee 34-10.

Second-year starter Chris Leak passed for 322 yards and three touchdowns as Florida outlasted Arkansas 45-30.

Now take a look at the schools who lack proven veterans at the QB position:

LSU, which is platooning Marcus Randall and JaMarcus Russell because neither seems adequate, suffered the lopsided loss to Georgia.

Kentucky, stuck with erratic Shane Boyd, lost to Ohio University by a 28-16 score. Not Ohio STATE University ... Ohio UNIVERSITY.

Mississippi State, which had Kyle York filling in for the injured Omarr Conner, suffered a 31-13 loss to Vanderbilt.

Alabama, which has scored just 13 points in the two games since Brodie Croyle tore up his knee, was dominated by South Carolina 20-3 in Tuscaloosa.

Tennessee, with frosh Erik Ainge and Brent Schaeffer combining for five interceptions, was humbled by Auburn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I sense a pattern here.

That said, here are the latest SEC Ratings, based on the usual 1-10 scale:

Georgia 9.0: The Bulldogs finally generated some offense. More impressively, they did it against an LSU team known for its hardnosed defense. Don't look now but Georgia may be jelling.

Auburn 9.0: The talented Tigers jumped on Tennessee from the get-go, built a 31-3 halftime lead and coasted. With Campbell complementing the Williams/Brown tailback duo, this team could go a long way.

Florida 8.0: Watching Chris Leak throw for 322 yards against Arkansas last Saturday, you wonder how he kept from passing for 400 against Tennessee two weeks earlier. This guy is a superior quarterback who makes the Gators dangerous all by himself.

Tennessee 7.5: Ainge and Schaeffer took their lumps last Saturday but not to the extent the Vol pass defense did. UT's secondary could be roasted again this weekend at Georgia. As the QBs and DBs mature, however, this team will become a force. The question is: When?

LSU 7.5: The same thing happeneed to LSU against Georgia that happened to Tennessee against LSU: A team starts fast, builds a nice lead early, then turns on the afterburners. The Tigers still have the potential to be excellent if they can solve their QB dilemma.

South Carolina 7.5: The Gamecocks' 20-3 defeat of Alabama looked so easy that it makes you wonder: Is Carolina that good or is Bama that bad? I'm not sure, to be perfectly honest.

Arkansas 7.0: The Razorbacks looked like a 3.0 in falling behind 38-7 at Florida but looked like a 9.0 as they scored 23 consecutive points to pull within 38-30. The Hogs will go as far as Matt Jones can carry them. Fortunately, he's a big guy.

Alabama 5.0: Mark Guillon has done nothing to suggest he's capable of filling the void left by Brodie Croyle's season-ending knee injury. The Tide is on a downhill slide. Even a pattycake schedule may not be enough to save Bama now.

Ole Miss 4.5: David Cutcliffe's team needed two third-quarter TD drives covering a combined 39 yards just to come from behind at home and beat lowly Arkansas State. The Rebels have a long way to go and a short time to get there.

Vanderbilt 4.5: The Commodores finally cracked the win column, drubbing Mississippi State. Vandy's three-point loss at Navy a week ago looks a little better since the Midshipmen (5-0) went on the road five days later and beat Air Force.

Kentucky 3.5: Losing at home to the likes of Ohio U tells you all you need to know about the Mildcats. Unless Rich Brooks can right this sinking ship in a hurry, the Big Blue will be looking for a new coach soon.

Mississippi State 2.0: After losing at home to Maine, then being hammered 51-0 by LSU, Mississippi State loses by 18 to perennial SEC whipping boy Vanderbilt. Clearly, these are the worst of times in Starkville.


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