SEC Ratings

Just when I thought I had a handle on the Southeastern Conference football races, the handle broke.

I didn't see Mississippi State upsetting Alabama. I didn't see Georgia hammering Auburn and I certainly didn't see Tennessee blasting Arkansas. As a result, there's quite a bit of shuffling in the latest SEC Ratings.

Here are the new rankings, based on the usual 1-10 scale, with 10 being national-championship caliber:

1.LSU (9.2): The Tigers (9-1 overall, 5-1 SEC) piled up 595 yards of total offense in a 58-10 rout of hapless Louisiana Tech.

2.GEORGIA (8.4): The Dawgs (8-2, 5-2) came out in black jerseys for the first time in the modern era, then blackened the eyes of Auburn's nationally fifth-ranked scoring defense in a 45-20 drubbing. The Tigers had been allowing just 14.5 points per game.

3.FLORIDA (8.2): The Gators (7-3, 5-3) got seven touchdowns from Tim Tebow - five rushing, two passing - in a 51-31 trouncing of South Carolina. Tebow passed for 304 yards and rushed for another 120.

4.TENNESSEE (7.6): The Vols (7-3, 4-2) discovered the art of defense, limiting ground-gobbling Arkansas to 127 rushing yards in a stunning 34-13 victory at Knoxville.

5.AUBURN (7.5): The Tigers (6-4, 4-3) surrendered 28 unanswered points to end the game, letting a 20-17 lead turn into a 45-20 loss at Georgia. Brandon Cox threw four interceptions.

6.KENTUCKY (7.5): The Wildcats (7-3, 3-3) overcame 13 penalties, including one which negated a 52-yard pass play, en route to a 27-20 win at Vanderbilt. Andre Woodson threw for 222 yards.

7.ALABAMA (7.0): The Tide (6-4, 4-3) lost 17-12 at Mississippi State thanks to a couple of awful plays by quarterback John Parker Wilson. He threw a pass that was returned 100 yards for a TD on the final play of the first half, then took a sack on the final play of the game.

8.ARKANSAS (7.0): The Razorbacks (6-4, 2-4) contributed to their own demise by throwing three interceptions and incurring 12 penalties in a 34-13 loss at Tennessee.

9.SOUTH CAROLINA (6.8): The Gamecocks (6-5, 3-5) allowed 537 yards of total offense in a 51-31 loss to Florida ... one week after allowing 651 yards in a 48-36 loss at Arkansas. Steve Spurrier's troops have lost four in a row after a 6-1 start.

10.MISSISSIPPI STATE (6.7): The Bulldogs (6-4, 3-3) beat Alabama 17-12 in Starkville by limiting the Tide to four field goals. MSU has not allowed a Bama touchdown in the last three meetings.

11.VANDERBILT (6.5): The Commodores (5-5, 2-5) played Kentucky tough but surrendered a tie-breaking touchdown with six minutes left in a 27-20 home-field loss.

12.OLE MISS (4.7): The Rebels (3-7, 0-6) had an open date, giving them an extra week to prepare for top-ranked LSU. It won't be enough.


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