SEC Ratings, Week 7

The people who predicted a national title for the Auburn Tigers in 2003 may have been one year premature. Tommy Tuberville's team jumped to a 30-0 lead over Arkansas Saturday and coasted from there. If quarterback Jason Campbell continues to play as well as he has so far this season, Auburn has a good shot at winning the Sears Trophy.

Over in the SEC East, Tennessee and Georgia continue their weekly rollercoaster rides -- looking good one week and not-so-good the next. The Big Orange had to rally late to win at Ole Miss, while Georgia bounced back from a sloppy effort against the Vols in Week 6 to hammer Vanderbilt.

Frankly, neither the Vols nor the Dawgs appears capable of staying with Auburn in the SEC Championship Game. Of course, there's still a lot of season left to be played and a lot of improvement left to be made.

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

Auburn 9.5: Best known for handing the ball to Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown, Jason Campbell completed 17 of 19 passes for 297 yards as the Tigers (7-0 overall, 4-0 SEC) built a 30-0 lead and hammered Arkansas 38-20. This looks to be the best team in college football.

Tennessee 8.0: You knew the Vols (5-1, 3-1) would be flat after the big win at Georgia and you knew Ole Miss head man David Cutcliffe would anticipate their every move. The fact they still came out of Oxford with a 21-17 victory suggests this team is coming of age. Gerald Riggs has three 100-yard games in the last four outings.

Georgia 8.0: As expected, the Dawgs (5-1, 3-1) bounced back from their loss to Tennessee by venting their frustartion on Vanderbilt 33-3. Danny Ware (127) and Thomas Brown (122) both cracked the 100-yard rushing barrier as UGA piled up 527 total yards. Georgia's next four games are on the road, so we'll soon see what the Dawgs are made of.

LSU 7.5: The Tigers (4-2, 2-2) had an open date.

Florida 7.5: Chris Leak was brilliant -- 17 of 22 for 316 yards and three TDs -- as the Gators (4-3, 2-2) manhandled Middle Tennessee State 52-16. But why can't they win close games?

South Carolina 7.0: The Gamecocks (5-2, 3-2) beat Kentucky 12-7 despite five turnovers and despite the absence of their top two QBs. Dondrial Pinkins has a shoulder problem and backup Syvelle Newton hurt his ankle during Saturday's game. If Newton's out long, Carolina could be in serious trouble.

Arkansas 7.0: The Razorbacks (3-3, 1-2) fell behind Florida 38-7 before rallying a few weeks ago and fell behind Auburn 30-0 before rallying on Saturday. Maybe the Hogs are prone to slow starts. Or maybe Auburn simply called off the dogs.

Alabama 6.5: The Tide (5-2, 2-2) has been impressive the past two weeks, hammering Kentucky by 28 and then trouncing previously unbeaten Southern Miss 27-3. Kenneth Darby rushed for 197 yards Saturday and Bama's defense allowed just 148 rushing yards and 23 passing yards. We'll see if the Tide's for real Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

Ole Miss 6.5: The Rebels (3-4, 2-2) have played much better the past two weeks -- shocking No. 25 South Carolina in Columbia and coming within 7 minutes of upsetting No. 14 Tennessee over the weekend. They might be a better team if they'd drop this three-quarterback system and turn the job over to talented redshirt freshman Robert Lane.

Vanderbilt 4.0: The Commodores (1-5, 1-3) have a good offense, led by QB Jay Cutler, but their defense is woeful. They allowed a struggling Georgia offense to riddle them to the tune of 527 yards in Saturday's 33-3 loss.

Kentucky 4.0: The Wildcats (1-5, 0-3) finally showed a pulse against South Carolina, leading 7-6 entering the final two minutes only to lose 12-7. Notably, the Big Blue had a 23-play drive that covered 93 yards and lasted 11 minutes and 54 seconds. Talk about ball control ...

Mississippi State 2.0: The Bulldogs (1-5, 0-3) had an open date.


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