SEC Ratings

A week ago there seemed to be a semblance of order in the Southeastern Conference football standings. There was one elite team (top-ranked LSU) and three mediocre teams (Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt), with everybody else battling for second place.

Kentucky's upset of LSU last weekend in Lexington turned order into chaos, however. Suddenly, the divisional races are even more of a mad scramble than before.

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

1.LSU (9.2): The Tigers (6-1 overall, 3-1 SEC) still appear to be the league's best team, in spite of their loss at UK. Les Miles' troops inexplicably blew a 27-14 third-quarter lead, then fell 43-37 in three overtimes.

2.FLORIDA (8.2): The Gators (4-2, 2-2) were idle.

3.SOUTH CAROLINA (8.0): The Gamecocks (6-1, 4-1) looked awfully vulnerable in a 21-15 defeat of North Carolina. Their pass defense, ranked No. 1 nationally, surrendered 285 yards to the Tar Heels. Meanwhile, their offense converted on just 1 of 13 third-down tries. Chris Smelley saved the day by completing 17 of 26 passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns.

4.KENTUCKY (8.0): The Wildcats (6-1, 2-1) bounced back from last week's ugly loss to South Carolina with a superior effort in a 43-37 three-overtime upset of LSU. With star tailback Rafael Little nursing a bruised thigh, Andre Woodson did the heavy lifting, completing 21 of 38 pases for 250 yards. He also produced four TDs, three passing and one rushing.

5.AUBURN (7.6): The Tigers (5-2, 3-1) needed a 20-yard Wes Byrum field goal with 21 seconds left to nip Arkansas 9-7. Ben Tate rushed for 91 yards and Brad Lester for 89 as the Tiger tandem doubled the production of the Hogs' celebrated duo of Darren McFadden (43 yards) and Felix Jones (42).

6.TENNESSEE (7.5): The Vols (4-2, 2-1) got a fantastic game from receiver Lucas Taylor (11 catches, 186 yards) in a 33-21 win at Mississippi State. Tennessee is 3-0 since suffering a 59-20 beat-down at Florida in Week 3.

7.GEORGIA (7.2): The Dawgs (5-2, 3-2) got 157 rushing yards from freshman Knowshon Moreno and survived a big scare to win 20-17 at Vanderbilt. Brandon Coutu kicked a decisive 37-yard field goal on the game's final play.

8.ALABAMA (7.0): The Tide (5-2, 3-1) needed big games from John Parker-Wilson (26 of 40 for 265 yards) and DJ Hall (11 catches, 140 yards), plus a controversial replay reversal in the final seconds, to subdue pesky Ole Miss 27-24.

9.ARKANSAS (7.0): The Razorbacks (3-3, 0-3) were averaging 338 rushing yards per game coming in but managed just 67 against a swarming Auburn defense in a 9-7 setback. Casey Dick completed a mere 12 of 26 pass attempts for 111 yards.

10.VANDERBILT (5.9): The Commodores (4-2, 1-2) continue finding creative ways to lose. Tied 17-17, they were driving for the game-winning TD in the final minutes. Cassen Jackson-Garrison fumbled at the Georgia 7-yard line, however, and the Dawgs promptly launched a drive that ended with a game-winning field goal as time expired.

11.MISSISSIPPI STATE (5.5): The Bulldogs (4-3, 1-3) led Tennessee 14-7 in the second quarter but wilted and lost 33-21. A bright spot was freshman QB Wesley Carroll, who completed 18 of 33 passes for 203 yards.

12.OLE MISS (5.2): The Rebels (1-5, 0-4) got 131 yards from BenJarvus Green-Ellis (on just 20 rushes), 284 yards from Seth Adams (on 22-of-40 passing) and 13 tackles from end Greg Hardy (with 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles) but STILL lost 27-24 to visiting Alabama.

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