SEC Ratings

Losing by 18 points to Tennessee, losing by two to Vanderbilt and edging Mississippi State by three – all on your home field – would be an OK month ... if you're the Kentucky Wildcats. If you're the Georgia Bulldogs, it's unheard-of.

Worse, Mark Richt's Dawgs were very lucky to nip Sylvester Croom's team 27-24 last Saturday, which is why Georgia has plummeted to eighth place in this week's SEC Ratings.

Other than Georgia's ongoing free-fall, the Ratings didn't change a whole lot this week. The teams that were supposed to win last weekend won and the teams that were supposed to lose last weekend lost. That makes updating the rankings pretty simple.

That said, here are this week's SEC Ratings:

1.FLORIDA (8.5): The Gators were idle.

2.TENNESSEE (8.5): The Vols ran for just 57 yards against Alabama but passed for 302 in a come-from-behind 16-13 triumph.

3.ARKANSAS (8.0): Freshman Mitch Mustain completed 12 of 15 passes for 157 yards in the Hogs' 38-3 mauling of Ole Miss. Mustain is now 6-0 as a starter.

4.AUBURN (8.0): With Kenny Irons resting an injury and backup Brad Lester limited to one carry, third-team tailback Ben Tate ran for 156 yards as the Tigers routed Tulane 38-13.

5.LSU (7.5): Les Miles' boys are fast starters ... at least in Baton Rouge. They've outscored six home opponents 94-0 in the first quarter this season. Of course, those six foes were generally pathetic.

6.SOUTH CAROLINA (7.0): The Cocks are 4-1 with Syvelle Newton at quarterback. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in Saturday's 31-13 win at Vanderbilt.

7.ALABAMA (7.0): The Tide hung tough with No. 7 Tennessee for three quarters before being outscored 10-0 in the fourth and losing 16-13.

8.GEORGIA (6.5): Freshman Matthew Stafford completed 20 of 31 passes for 267 yards in his return to first-team status but the Dawgs needed a late fumble to hold off Mississippi State 27-24.

9.VANDERBILT (5.5): The Commodores managed just 253 total yards and didn't dent the end zone until the game's final play in a 31-13 loss to visiting South Carolina.

10.KENTUCKY (5.5): The Wildcats had an open date last weekend.

11.OLE MISS (5.0): Former Vol Brent Schaeffer completed just 11 of 30 passes for 118 yards in a 38-3 loss at Arkansas.

12.MISSISSIPPI STATE (4.0): The Bulldogs were a field goal away from forcing overtime at Georgia but fumbled at the UGA 22-yard line with mere seconds left, enabling the Dawgs to win 27-24.

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