SEC Ratings, Week 8

Defending national champ LSU had to hit a 30-yard touchdown pass with 2:18 left to overcome Troy.

Florida lost to a Mississippi State team that was a 24-point underdog and riding a five-game losing streak.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen ...

Two more of the SEC's supposedly elite teams barely won. No. 10 Georgia had to hold on to nip Arkansas 20-14, while No. 11 Tennessee struggled mightily to subdue Alabama 17-13.

It seems every weekend underscores the same point: There's no such thing as a sure thing in the wild and woolly Southeastern Conference.

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

Auburn 9.5: Cadillac Williams ran for 149 yards as the Tigers (8-0 overall, 5-0 SEC) trounced hapless Kentucky 42-10. The Tiger defense surrendered its first rushing TD of the season but allowed just 110 yards overall. This team is rolling, folks.

Tennessee 7.5: Back-to-back ugly wins against Ole Miss (21-17) and Alabama (17-13) show the Vols can prevail without playing well. The problem is, with South Carolina planning a Columbia ambush, the Big Orange had better start playing well immediately.

Georgia 7.5: David Greene had a career day against Arkansas (22 of 29 for 382 yards) but the Dawgs still had to hold on for dear life to survive 20-14. Like UT, Georgia seems to play just well enough to win.

LSU 7.0: The Tigers (5-2, 2-2) have finally settled on a quarterback. Marcus Randall played every snap against Troy, completing 24 of 37 for 328 yards and a touchdown. The bad news? He threw three interceptions.

South Carolina 7.0: The Gamecocks (5-2, 3-2) had an open date.

Alabama 6.5: The Tide (5-3, 2-3) runs the ball well on offense and stops the run well on defense. That's half the battle. If Bama hadn't lost QB Brodie Croyle to a Game 3 knee injury, it could be one of the surprise teams in college football.

Florida 6.5: FireRonZook.com is probably getting a lot of hits these days. Steve Spurrier went 0-2 at Starkville but the Bulldogs were a much stronger program back then. You wonder if the Gators (4-3, 2-3) are on the verge of imploding.

Arkansas 6.5: The Razorbacks (3-4, 1-3) have lost close games to Texas, Florida and Georgia, so they're better than the record suggests. Matt Jones' pulled groin had better heal in a hurry, though, or they'll lose several more games ... close and not-so-close.

Ole Miss 6.5: The Rebels (3-4, 2-2) had an open date.

Vanderbilt 4.0: The Commodores (2-5, 1-3) got 117 rushing yards from Kwane Doster in beating Eastern Kentucky 19-7. Jay Cutler had a 55-yard run, Vandy's longest of the season.

Kentucky 4.0: With Shane Boyd sidelined by a shoulder injury, redshirt freshman Andre Woodson made his first career start at QB for the Wildcats (1-6, 0-4) against Auburn. He went 14 of 26 for just 73 yards, barely 5 yards per completion.

Mississippi State 4.0: The Bulldogs (2-5, 1-3) got 174 rushing yards from Jerious Norwood in shocking Florida 38-31. QB Omarr Conner returned from a two-game absence due to a minor knee injury to guide the victory. He may be the shot in the arm MSU's offense needed.


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