SEC Ratings

There hasn't been a lot to celebrate in Big Orange Country this football season, so here's some good news:

The Tennessee Vols shot up two spots in this week's SEC Ratings. Granted, going from 11th place in a 12-team league to ninth might not seem like a big deal. When you're having the kind of season UT is, however, you savor every silver lining you can find.

The Vols' 20-10 defeat of Vanderbilt, coupled with Arkansas's 31-28 loss at Mississippi State, enabled Tennessee to leapfrog the Commodores and Razorbacks in this week's ratings.

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

1. Florida (10.0): The Gators (10-1 overall, 7-1 SEC) scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions en route to a 70-19 drubbing of The Citadel. Tim Tebow completed 9 of 11 passes for 201 yards before leaving the game five snaps into the second quarter.

2. Alabama (9.0): The Tide (11-0, 8-0) had an open date to rest up before facing Auburn this Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

3. Georgia (8.0): The Dawgs (9-2, 6-2) enjoyed an open date before hosting Georgia Tech this Saturday in Athens.

4. Ole Miss (8.0): The Rebels (7-4, 4-3) surprised a lot of people – except me, I picked 'em – by beating defending national champ LSU 31-13 in Baton Rouge. Jevan Snead completed 16 of 25 passes for 274 yards and two TDs as Ole Miss notched its fourth win in a row.

5. LSU (6.5): The Tigers (7-4, 3-4) again were done in by mediocre quarterback play. Jarrett Lee completed just 4 of 12 passes for 49 yards before leaving due to injury. Backup Jordan Jefferson was 10 of 20 for 129 yards.

6. South Carolina (6.5): The Gamecocks (7-4, 4-4) were idle. They visit Clemson this Saturday.

7. Auburn (5.0): The Tigers (5-6, 2-5) had an open date before visiting Alabama this Saturday.

8. Kentucky (5.0): The Big Blue (6-5, 2-5) enjoyed an off week before visiting Tennessee this Saturday.

9. Tennessee (5.0): The Vols (4-7, 2-5) got another dazzling performance from Eric Berry in beating Vanderbilt 20-10. Berry returned an interception 45 yards for his second TD of the season. The interception was his seventh of the season and 12th of his career. He now has 265 return yards this year and 487 for his career.

10. Vanderbilt (5.0): The Commodores (6-5, 4-5) may be good enough to qualify for a bowl game but they still aren't good enough to beat the worst Tennessee team of the past 20 years in Nashville. Mackenzi Adams (18 of 38 passing for 192 yards) was a semi-bright spot in their 20-10 loss to the Vols.

11. Mississippi State (3.5): The Bulldogs (4-7, 2-5) got a huge game from Anthony Dixon (179 rushing yards, one rushing TD, two receiving TDs) in a 31-28 defeat of Arkansas.

12. Arkansas (3.5): The Razorbacks (4-7, 1-6) were without the services of senior QB Casey Dick (concussion) at Mississippi State, so they started his little brother. Nathan Dick threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns but Alex Tejada missed a potential game-tying 45-yard field goal on the game's final play as the Hogs fell 31-28.

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