SEC Ratings, Week 1

Tennessee's shocking 35-18 upset of No. 9 California Saturday at Neyland Stadium has enabled the Volunteers to grab the No. 2 spot on InsideTennessee.com's first SEC Ratings of 2006. Only Auburn is ranked ahead of the Big Orange.

Tommy Tuberville's Tigers, Urban Meyer's Florida Gators, Les Miles' LSU Tigers and Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs also posted impressive victories in Week 1 action.

That said, here are this week's ratings:

1. AUBURN (9.0): Kenny Irons ran for 183 yards on just 20 carries (better than 9 yards per rush) as the Tigers trounced Washington State 40-14. Auburn's pass defense limited the Huskies to 11 of 24 for 67 yards.

2. TENNESSEE (8.5): Erik Ainge threw for 291 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Vols stunned No. 9 California 35-18. Robert Meachem (5 catches, 182 yards, 2 TDs) did OK, too.

3. FLORIDA (8.0): Chris Leak completed 21 of 30 for 248 yards as the Gators drowned Southern Miss 34-7. Tailback DeShawn Wynn was hurt after gaining 45 yards on seven carries.

4. LSU (8.0): JaMarcus Russell (13 of 17, 253 yards, 3 TDs) improved his record as a starting QB to 15-2 by dismantling hapless Louisiana-Lafayette 45-3.

5. GEORGIA (8.0): The Dawgs put the bite on Western Kentucky 48-12 but I'm still not sold on QB Joe Tereshinski (7 of 17 for 90 yards). He'll eventually give way to freshman Matthew Stafford, who was 3 of 5 for 40 yards and directed two TD drives.

6. SOUTH CAROLINA (6.5): The Gamecocks look lame on offense. They needed a trick play (a 53-yard throwback pass TD) and a 16-yard gain on a botched punt to trim Mississippi State 15-0.

7. ALABAMA (6.5): New quarterback John Parker Wilson passed his first test, completing 16 of 29 for 253 yards as the Tide held off Hawaii 25-17. Bama's defense allowed just 22 rushing yards but gave up 350 passing yards.

8. ARKANSAS (5.5): The Razorbacks trailed Southern Cal just 16-7 at halftime before imploding en route to a 50-14 loss. Slowed by a toe injury, Darren McFadden carried just nine times for 42 yards. Backup Felix Jones fumbled three times. QB Robert Johnson was 12 of 25 for 110 yards with two interceptions. Freshman Mitch Mustain will start at QB this week.

9. OLE MISS (5.0): Transfers BenJarvus Green-Ellis (127 rushing yards) and Brent Schaeffer (7 of 16, 97 passing yards) led the Rebels to an unimpressive 28-25 defeat of visiting Memphis.

10. MISSISSIPPI STATE (4.5): The Bulldogs showed a tenacious defense but a horrendous offense in their season-opening 15-0 loss to South Carolina. No. 1 QB Michael Henig completed just 2 of 8 passes for 19 yards before suffering a broken collarbone that should sideline him for several weeks.

11. VANDERBILT (3.5): Chris Nickson, Jay Cutler's successor, completed just 11 of 25 passes for 99 yards in the Commodores' 27-7 loss to Michigan. Nickson also was sacked six times.

12. KENTUCKY (3.0): The Cats allowed 631 yards of total offense in their 59-28 loss to Louisville Sunday night. I've seen better defensive play from PeeWee teams.


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