SEC Ratings

"Win out for Coach Fulmer" didn't work, so maybe the Tennessee Vols need a new mantra: "Thank God for Mississippi State."

A 13-7 Homecoming loss to Wyoming last weekend dropped the profoundly inept Vols to 3-7 overall and 1-5 in SEC play. The setback also dropped them to 11th place among the 12 teams in this week's SEC Ratings.

If not for Mississippi State, a squad the Vols routed 34-3 a month ago, Tennessee would be the worst team in the league.

The new ratings follow, with each team graded on the usual 1-10 scale:

1. Florida (9.5): The Gators (8-1 overall, 6-1 SEC) got five touchdowns from Tim Tebow for the second week in a row – three passing and two rushing this time – in their 42-14 pasting of Vanderbilt. Tebow ran for 88 yards and passed for 171, despite sitting out the game's final 24 minutes. Florida led 35-0 at the half and 42-0 before letting up a bit.

2. Alabama (9.0): The Tide (10-0 overall, 7-0 SEC) got an interception return from Rashad Johnson for the second consecutive week – he had thee interceptions for the evening – in a 27-21 overtime defeat of LSU. Lee's TD return covered 54 yards. Glen Coffee rushed 26 times for 126 yards for Bama.

3. Georgia (8.0): The Dawgs (8-2, 5-2) got 376 passing yards from Matthew Stafford, including a TD pass to A.J. Green with 1:54 remaining that provided the winning margin in a 42-38 defeat of Kentucky. Georgia wideout Mohamed Massaquoi deserved a game ball from each side, catching eight passes for 191 yards but losing two fumbles.

4. LSU (7.5): The Tigers (6-3, 3-3) posted more first downs (17-16), more total yards (382-353) and more time of possession (33:20 to 26:40) but also committed more turnovers (4-3) in a 27-21 overtime loss to visiting Alabama. LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee completed just 13 of 34 passes with four interceptions.

5. South Carolina (7.0): The Gamecocks (7-3, 4-3) alternated quarterbacks Chris Smelley (9 of 19, 148 yards) and Stephen Garcia (4 of 11, 71 yards) in a 34-21 defeat of Arkansas. Kenny McKinley had a productive afternoon no matter who was throwing, catching 7 balls for 130 yards and passing Sterling Sharpe as the school's all-time leader in receiving yards.

6. Ole Miss (6.0): The Rebels (5-4, 3-3) had an open date.

7. Vanderbilt (5.0): The Commodores (5-4, 3-4) dropped their fourth game in a row after opening the season 5-0, suffering a 42-14 loss to visiting Florida. Chris Nickson came off the bench to complete 7 of 14 passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns after relieving starting QB Mackenzi Adams, who suffered a neck pointer.

8. Auburn (4.5): The Tigers (5-5, 2-4) got another big game from Kodi Burns in a 37-20 defeat of UT-Martin. Burns rushed for 158 yards, becoming the first Auburn QB to crack the 100-yard mark since 1976. Burns completed 12 of 20 passes and had scoring runs of 58 and 31 yards.

9. Kentucky (4.5): The Big Blue (6-4, 2-4) had Georgia on the ropes but couldn't land the knockout punch in a 42-38 loss. UK drove to the Bulldog 13-yard line in the final minute but QB Randall Cobb threw an interception with 46 seconds left. Cobb finished 12 of 20 passing for 105 yards, along with 82 rushing yards and three rushing TDs.

10. Arkansas (4.0): The Razorbacks (4-6, 2-5) got very little help from their top two weapons in a 34-21 loss at South Carolina. Star tailback Michael Smith rushed just seven times for 25 yards before suffering a shoulder injury and quarterback Casey Dick threw three interceptions.

11. Tennessee (3.5): The Vols (3-7, 1-5) were supposed to play inspired football to show support for head coach Phillip Fulmer, who was forced to announce his resignation five days earlier. Instead, they stunk up Neyland Stadium in a 13-7 Homecoming loss to Wyoming.

12. Mississippi State (3.5): The Bulldogs (3-6, 2-4) had an open date.


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