SEC Ratings, Week 3

Who says you can't win with a freshman quarterback in the SEC? Arkansas's Mitch Mustain completed 13 of 20 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns as the Hogs nipped Vanderbilt 21-19 last weekend. Georgia's Matthew Stafford completed 10 of 17 passes for 107 yards in guiding the Bulldogs past Alabama Birmingham 34-0.

Auburn's defeat of LSU and Florida's defeat of Tennessee last weekend established those two as the clearcut favorites for the SEC West and East titles, respectively. Can they hold on? I'm guessing they can. That's why I have Tommy Tuberville's Tigers and Urban Meyer's Gators 1-2 in this week's SEC Ratings.

1. AUBURN (9.0): Kicker John Vaughn, who missed five field goals vs. LSU last year, missed a 26-yard chip shot this time but Auburn's defense bailed him out in a 7-3 win. Tuberville's Tigers have allowed just 17 points in their first three games.

2. FLORIDA (8.5): The Gators dominated Tennessee but won by a mere 21-20 score. Meyer thus joined Steve Spurrier, Mark Richt and Tuberville as the only coaches to beat Phil Fulmer in back-to-back seasons.

3. LSU (8.5): Les Miles' Tigers need to attend a finishing school. They advanced into Auburn territory six times last weekend without producing a TD in their 7-3 loss.

4. GEORGIA (8.0): The Bulldogs' 34-0 blowout of Alabama Birmingham was their second consecutive shutout. If Stafford matures quickly running the offense, watch out.

5. TENNESSEE (7.5): Rushing for minus-11 yards but only losing by a point to Florida suggests the Vols are resourceful, if not powerful.

6. ALABAMA (6.5): The Tide crushed Louisiana-Monroe 41-7. John Parker Wilson (13 of 21 for 210) passed for more than 200 yards for the second week in a row but Ken Darby (14 carries for 79) ran for less than 100 yards for the second week in a row.

7. SOUTH CAROLINA (5.5): The Gamecocks held on at the finish to nip Wofford 27-20. When a Div. 1-AA team known as the Terriers runs for 290 yards on you, you've got troubles.

8. ARKANSAS (5.5): Mustain made just enough plays to guide the Razorbacks to a 21-19 defeat of homestanding Vanderbilt.

9. VANDERBILT (5.0):One week after limiting Alabama's Ken Darby to 65 rushing yards, the Commodores limited Darren McFadden to 75 in a gut-wrenching 21-19 loss to Arkansas.

10. KENTUCKY (4.5): Dicky Lyons Jr. (son of the former UK basketball player) caught two TD passes for the third game in a row as the Cats whipped Ole Miss 31-14.

11. MISSISSIPPI STATE (4.0): After two shutout losses, the Bulldogs finally found some offense … only to see their defense crumble in a 32-29 loss to Tulane. Omar Conner, back at QB after a stint at receiver, completed 15 of 25 for 241 yards.

12. OLE MISS (3.5): The Rebels lost 31-14 at Kentucky, despite a good showing by former UT quarterback Brent Schaeffer (13 of 26 passing for 190 yards and 2 TDs, 11 rushes for 65 yards).


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