SEC Ratings

Alabama snapped out of some first-half doldrums to dump Kentucky last weekend and maintain its standing as the No. 1 team in our SEC Ratings.

Auburn and LSU also moved to 5-0 with Saturday victories but remain in third and fourth place, respectively, behind Florida, which had an open date.

That said, here's a closer look at this week's ratings:

1. ALABAMA (9.5): The Tide (5-0, 2-0) scored two touchdowns in the final minute of the first half, bumping a 7-6 lead to 21-6 en route to a 38-20 win at Kentucky. Mark Ingram rushed for 140 yards and Greg McElroy rallied from a poor start to complete 15 of 26 passes for 148 yards.

2. FLORIDA (9.5): The Gators (4-0 overall, 2-0 SEC) had an open date.

3. AUBURN (8.0): The Tigers (5-0, 2-0) got 128 rushing yards from Ben Tate and a 19-of-32, 218-yard passing performance from Chris Todd in a 26-22 victory at Tennessee. Auburn took advantage of an overworked Vol defense to register 459 yards of total offense and 24 first downs.

4. LSU (8.0): Les Miles' Tigers (5-0, 3-0) needed a 33-yard touchdown run by Charles Scott with 46 seconds left to turn a 13-12 deficit into a 20-13 defeat of homestanding Georgia. Jordan Jefferson completed 18 of 27 passes for 212 yards but was sacked six times. LSU outgained UGA 236-49 in the first half but could never build a comfortable lead.

5. GEORGIA (7.5): The Bulldogs (3-2, 2-1) suffered a crucial excessive-celebration penalty after going ahead 13-12 with 1:09 left, and LSU parlayed the field position into a late TD and a 20-13 road win. Joe Cox completed 18 of 34 passes for 229 yards, with A.J. Green (5 catches, 99 yards) being his top target.

6. SOUTH CAROLINA (7.5): The Gamecocks (4-1, 1-1) outscored South Carolina State 21-0 in the third period, helping turn a 10-7 halftime lead into a 38-14 victory. Stephen Garcia completed 13 of 19 passes for 132 yards and Jarvis Giles rushed 11 times for 74 yards. Moe Brown caught 6 passes for 100 yards and two TDs.

7. OLE MISS (7.5): The Rebels (3-1, 1-1) beat Vanderbilt 23-7 but still haven't clicked offensively. Jevan Snead completed 19 of 34 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns but also threw three picks. Shay Hodge caught 8 of the passes for 122 yards and two TDs.

8. ARKANSAS (7.0): The Razorbacks (3-2, 0-2) survived a 345-yard passing performance by Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson to beat the Aggies 47-19. Ryan Mallett completed 17 of 27 passes for 271 yards and four TDs for the Hogs, who rallied from an early 10-0 deficit by outscoring A&M 23-0 in the second period.

9. TENNESSEE (7.0): The Vols (2-3, 0-2) got a career-best 259-yard passing performance from Jonathan Crompton but couldn't keep pace with Auburn in a 26-22 home-field setback. Montario Hardesty rushed for 90 yards; Gerald Jones caught 7 passes for 75 yards, both career bests.

10. MISSISSIPPI STATE (7.0): The Bulldogs (2-3, 1-2) saw three first-half fumbles lead to 21 Georgia Tech points in a 42-31 loss to the Yellow Jackets. Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt burned MSU for 11 completions in 14 attempts for 266 yards. Anthony Dixon rushed 18 times for 106 yards and Tyson Lee completed 20 of 30 passes for 278 yards to pace the Dogs.

11. KENTUCKY (5.5): The Big Blue (2-2, 0-2) bowed 38-20 to visiting Alabama, despite a pair of 49-yard field goals by Lones Seiber. The Cats got a productive outing from Derrick Locke (75 rushing yards on 20 carries, 63 receiving yards on 6 catches). Mike Hartline completed 17 of 31 passes for 168 yards but tossed three picks.

12. VANDERBILT (5.5): The Commodores (2-3, 0-3) continued their offensive misery in a 23-7 loss to visiting Ole Miss. Warren Norman rushed 14 times for 86 yards but quarterback Larry Smith completed just 10 of 27 passes for 69 yards. Vandy has scored a paltry 19 points in its first three SEC games.


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