SEC Ratings

After winning their first four games, the Kentucky Wildcats received votes in the Associated Press football poll. After a 5-0 start, the Vanderbilt Commodores were ranked No. 13 in the same poll.

This can't last, you thought ... and you were right. Kentucky dropped six of its last eight games and Vandy six of its last seven. Both were big losers Saturday on the regular season's final weekend, the Big Blue bowing 28-10 at Tennessee and the Commodores falling 23-10 at Wake Forest.

The fading finishes enabled the Wildcats and Dores to return to their accustomed spots near the bottom of the SEC Ratings. The natural order has been restored.

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

1. Florida (10.0): The Gators (11-1 overall, 7-1 SEC) thrashed Florida State 45-15 for their eighth win in a row since losing to Ole Miss. Tim Tebow completed 12 of 21 passes for 185 yards and added 80 rushing yards. All told, Florida outgained FSU 502 to 242 yards.

2. Alabama (9.0): The Tide (12-0, 8-0) used three third-quarter touchdowns to pull away in a 36-0 spanking of Auburn. Glen Coffee ran for 144 yards and John Parker Wilson completed 8 of 16 passes for 134 more.

3. Ole Miss (8.0): The Rebels (8-4, 5-3) clearly are playing their best football down the stretch. Jevan Snead threw for 213 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-0 beat-down of Mississippi State last Friday. Houston Nutt's boys have won five straight since losing 24-20 at top-ranked Alabama.

4. Georgia (7.0): The Dawgs (9-3, 6-2) were tabbed No. in preseason, bringing a snicker from this writer. The Peach State boys proved again how overrated they were by blowing a 28-12 halftime lead Saturday and bowing 45-42 to Georgia Tech, which gashed the Dawgs for 409 rushing yards. On a positive note, Matthew Stafford tied the school record with five TD passes.

5. LSU (6.0): The Tigers (7-5, 3-5) went from national champs to regional chumps in one season. They blew a 30-14 fourth-quarter lead and suffered a 31-30 loss to Arkansas on Friday. Maybe all of that grief head coach Les Miles took before backing into the '07 national title with two losses was richly deserved.

6. South Carolina (5.0): The Gamecocks (7-5, 4-4) continue to be plagued by poor quarterback play. Chris Smelley threw four interceptions – three of which set up Clemson touchdowns – in a 31-14 loss to the Tigers.

7. Tennessee (5.0): The Vols (5-7, 2-6) played so poorly this season that they cost Phillip Fulmer his job, but they gave him a nice parting gift Saturday by trouncing Kentucky 28-10. Jonathan Crompton (6 of 8 passing for 101 yards and a touchdown) finally gave the Vols a quality performance at quarterback.

8. Arkansas (4.5): The Razorbacks (5-7, 2-6) got a 24-yard touchdown pass from Casey Dick with 22 seconds left in a dramatic 31-30 defeat of LSU Friday at Little Rock.

9. Auburn (4.0): The Tigers (5-7, 2-6) were blown off the field by Alabama 36-0 as Kodi Burns completed just 9 of 23 passes for 113 yards. Tommy Tuberville's team lost six of seven games after edging Tennessee 14-12.

10. Kentucky (4.0): The Wildcats (6-6, 2-6) managed a paltry 193 yards of total offense in a 28-10 loss at Tennessee, their 24th straight in the one-sided series with the Vols.

11. Vanderbilt (4.0): The Commodores (6-6, 4-4) suffered their sixth loss in seven games, bowing 23-10 at Wake Forest. Redshirt freshman QB Larry Smith saw his first action of the season in the second half, completing 9 of 17 passes for 46 yards.

12. Mississippi State (3.5): The Bulldogs (4-8, 2-6) managed just 42 first-half yards in the first half of Friday's 45-0 loss to Ole Miss ... and that was the good news. They mustered minus-5 yards in the second half. Head coach Sylvester Croom resigned a day later.


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