Tide, Dawgs tied at top

Alabama is unbeaten but adjusting to the loss of star receiver/return specialist Tyrone Prothro. Georgia is unbeaten but adjusting to the loss (at least temporarily) of star quarterback D.J. Shockley. Even the SEC's top teams are dealing with adversity as the league schedule heads into the home stretch.

Since losing Prothro to a broken lower leg against Florida, Bama nipped Ole Miss 10-7 on a last-second field goal, then edged Tennessee 6-3 on another last-second field goal. Georgia, which lost Shockley midway through last Saturday's game, barely held on to nip Arkansas 23-20. Clearly, good teams find a way to overcome bad breaks.

That said, here's a complete look at this week's SEC Ratings, based on the usual 1-10 schedule:

1. Georgia (8.5): With Shockley sidelined by a strained knee, Joe Tereshenski completed 5 of 9 passes for 91 yards as the Dawgs (7-0 overall, 5-0 SEC) held on for dear life against Arkansas. Shockley is doubtful for this weekend's showdown with Florida.

2. Alabama (8.5): The Tide (7-0, 5-0) didn't beat Tennessee so much as the Vols beat themselves. Still, you can't downgrade a team that somehow manages to come out on top each week.

3. LSU (8.0): The Tigers (5-1, 4-1) nipped Auburn 20-17 in overtime, thanks to five missed field goals by Auburn's John Vaughn. LSU would be unbeaten except for a second-half collapse against Tennessee.

4. Auburn (8.0): Tommy Tuberville's Tigers (5-2, 3-1) saw their five-game winning streak snapped by LSU, despite 218 rushing yards by Kenny Irons.

5. Florida (7.5): The Gators (5-2, 3-2) had an open date, giving quarterback Chris Leak's injured shoulder some time to heal.

6. Tennessee (7.0): The Vols (3-3, 2-3) have fallen victim to a killer schedule. They've faced four top-10 teams to date, losing to three of them.

7. South Carolina (6.0): The Gamecocks (4-3, 2-3) beat Vanderbilt 35-28 but lost big-play specialist Syvelle Newton in the process. Newton threw for two TDs and ran for another vs. the Dores.

8. Arkansas (5.0): Freshman Darren McFadden rushed for 190 yards as the Razorbacks (2-5, 0-4) pushed Georgia to the limit before losing.

9. Vanderbilt (5.0): The Commodores (4-4, 2-3) have dropped four games in a row, with Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee left to play.

10. Ole Miss (5.0): The offensively challenged Rebels (3-4, 1-3) matched their SEC-worst points-per-game average in a 13-7 defeat of Kentucky.

11. Mississippi State (3.5): Jerious Norwood ran for a school-record 257 yards but it wasn't enough as the Bulldogs (2-5, 0-4) suffered a 28-16 loss to Houston.

Kentucky (3.5): The Wildcats (0-3, 1-5) had a nightmarish first half in their 13-7 loss at Ole Miss, losing three fumbles and managing just 46 yards of total offense.


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