SEC Ratings

The LSU Tigers are looking more and more like the only top-quality team in the Southeastern Conference.

Les Miles' Bayou Bengals dominated South Carolina at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball en route to a 28-16 victory last Saturday in Baton Rouge. Meanwhile, Florida looked awfully vulnerable against a poor Ole Miss team and Alabama suffered a home-field loss to up-and-down Georgia.

Surprising Kentucky climbed into the No. 3 spot with a 13-point triumph at Arkansas. The high-octane Wildcats are 4-0 and gaining confidence each week.

That said, here are this week's ratings, based on the usual 1-10 scale, with 10 being national-championship caliber:

1.LSU (9.6): The Tigers (4-0 overall, 2-0 SEC) spotted South Carolina an early 7-0 lead, then used a fake-field goal TD and 288 rushing yards to rally for a 28-16 triumph.

2.FLORIDA (8.4): The Gators (4-0, 2-0) were on the ropes at Ole Miss but held on for a 30-24 victory. QB Tim Tebow rushed for 166 yards but took a bunch of hits. It only takes one shot to put him out for the year.

3.KENTUCKY (7.7): The Wildcats (4-0, 1-0) got another quality performance from Andre Woodson – 21 of 39 passing for 265 yards – in a come-from-behind 42-29 triumph at Arkansas.

4.SOUTH CAROLINA (7.7): The Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1) got just 27 combined rushing yards from Cory Boyd and Mike Davis in a 28-16 setback at LSU. Blake Mitchell lost the first-team QB job midway through the game to Chris Smelley, who finished 12 of 26 for 174 yards.

5.GEORGIA (7.5): Matthew Stafford completed 19 of 35 passes for 224 yards, including a game-winning 25-yard strike to Mikey Henderson in overtime, as the Dawgs (3-1, 1-1) won 26-23 at Alabama.

6.ALABAMA (7.3): John Parker Wilson completed just 17 of 35 passes and the Tide (3-1, 2-1) allowed Georgia to convert on 9 of 19 third-down tries in a 26-23 overtime loss to the Dawgs.

7.TENNESSEE (7.0): The Vols (2-2, 0-1) got big games from LaMarcus Coker (15 rushes, 101 yards) and Lucas Taylor (7 catches, 104 yards) en route to a 48-27 defeat of Arkansas State.

8.ARKANSAS (7.0): The Razorbacks (1-2, 0-2) piled up 373 yards in the first half but led just 20-14 because of a Michael Smith fumble that was returned 66 yards for a Kentucky TD. The Hogs then wilted in the final period and lost 42-29.

9.VANDERBILT (6.0): The Commodores (3-0, 1-1) had an open date.

10.MISSISSIPPI STATE (5.3): With QB Michael Henig sidelined by a broken hand, the Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1) relied on tailback Anthony Dixon (16 rushes for 86 yards) and reserve QB Josh Riddell (8-of-12 passing for 124 yards) in a 31-15 defeat of Gardner-Webb.

11.AUBURN (5.3): After back-to-back home losses to South Florida and Mississippi State, the Tigers (2-2, 0-1) stopped the bleeding by turning a 21-20 halftime lead into a 55-20 defeat of hapless New Mexico State. Ben Tate (112) and Mario Fannin (103) rushed for more than 100 yards each.

12.OLE MISS (5.0): Seth Adams passed for 301 yards, including a 71-yard bomb to Mike Wallace, but the Rebels (1-3, 0-2) couldn't make a clutch play at the finish and bowed 30-24 to visiting Florida.


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