Georgia's impressive defeat of Tennessee last weekend in Knoxville has vaulted the Bulldogs into a virtual tie with Alabama for the top spot in this week's SEC Ratings.
Showing an opportunistic offense, a bend-but-don't-break defense and polished special teams, Mark Richt
's team led 27-7 before allowing a Vol touchdown on the game's final play. Clearly, the Bulldogs have overcome the losses of 2004 standouts David Greene, Reggie Brown, Fred Gibson, David Pollack, Thomas Davis and Odell Thurman quite nicely.
That said, here's a look at this week's SEC Ratings, graded on the usual 1-10 scale:
1. ALABAMA (9.0): The Tide (5-0 overall, 3-0 SEC) had an open date.
2. GEORGIA (9.0): D.J. Shockley completed 16 of 27 passes for 207 yards and added another 51 yards on 11 rushes as the Dawgs (5-0, 3-0) pummeled Tennessee, 27-14.
3. AUBURN (8.0): The Tigers (4-1, 2-0) had an open date.
4. FLORIDA (7.5): The Gators (5-1, 3-1) flexed some defensive muscle in their 35-9 defeat of Mississippi State, recording six sacks, three turnovers and two safeties.
5. LSU (7.5): The Tigers (3-1, 2-1) rolled up 479 yards of total offense but had to score the game's final 25 points to pull away from home-standing Vanderbilt 34-6.
6. TENNESSEE (7.0): The Vols (3-2, 1-2) seem to be regressing. They managed just 48 rushing yards on 26 carries in their 27-14 loss to Georgia and lost star cornerback Jason Allen to a hip injury.
7. SOUTH CAROLINA (6.0): The Gamecocks (3-3, 1-3), leading just 17-16 in the third quarter, used three fumble recoveries and an interception to score the game's final 27 points in a 44-16 defeat of Kentucky.
8. ARKANSAS (5.0): Freshman tailbacks Darren McFadden (125 yards) and Felix Jones (102) paced a 321-yard rushing effort as the Razorbacks (2-3, 0-2) routed hapless Louisiana-Monroe 44-15.
9. VANDERBILT (5.0): The Commodores (4-2, 2-1) were averaging 443 yards per game until they ran into LSU, which limited them to just 138 total yards in a 34-6 drubbing.
10. OLE MISS (4.5): The Rebels (2-3, 0-2) led The Citadel just 10-7 in the third quarter but eventually prevailed 27-7 by limiting the visitors to 81 yards of total offense.
11. MISSISSIPPI STATE (4.0): After losing 35-9 to Florida, the Bulldogs (2-4, 0-4) have been outscored 123-26 by SEC foes Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Florida.
12. KENTUCKY (3.0): Rafael Little rushed for 120 yards, making him the lone bright spot as Kentucky (1-4, 0-2) lost 44-16 to South Carolina.