SEC Ratings

Today's lesson in irony: Florida coach Urban Meyer clinched the SEC East title over the weekend because Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin beat South Carolina.

Don't look for the favor to qualify Kiffin as Meyer's BFF (best friend forever), though. Kiffin has been a burr under Meyer's saddle since the former arrived on the SEC scene last December. That's what makes his contribution to Meyer's latest division title so fiendishly rich.

Even with the East championship clinched, Florida still appears to have the second-best team in the conference this year. Alabama, which had an open date last weekend, remains No. 1 in my SEC Ratings.

Here they are:

1. ALABAMA (9.5): The Tide (8-0 overall, 5-0 SEC) enjoyed an open date.

2. FLORIDA (9.5): The Gators (8-0, 6-0) notched their 18th consecutive victory by dusting Georgia 41-17 in Jacksonville. Tim Tebow accounted for four touchdowns - completing 15 of 21 passes for 164 yards and 2 TDs, rushing 18 times for 85 yards and 2 more TDs. Tebow now has 50 rushing TDs, passing former Georgia star Herschel Walker for the all-time SEC record in that category. Florida's Caleb Sturgis nailed a 56-yard field goal, second longest in program history.

3. LSU (8.0): The Tigers (7-1, 4-1) outgained Tulane 455-216 in total yards and blasted the Green Wave 42-0. Jordan Jefferson completed 11 of 17 passes for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brandon LaFell caught his 21st and 22nd career TD passes; he now trails only Dwayne Bowe (26) on LSU's all-time touchdown receptions list. Tailback Charles Scott continued to roll, rushing 18 times for 112 yards and 2 TDs.

4. TENNESSEE (7.5): Tennessee (4-4, 2-3) converted four South Carolina turnovers into 24 points en route to a 31-13 pasting of the Gamecocks. Montario Hardesty rushed for 121 yards and Jonathan Crompton (12 of 24, 142 yards, 2 TDs, 0 interceptions) continued his remarkable transformation into a quality quarterback.

5. SOUTH CAROLINA (7.5): The Gamecocks (6-3, 3-3) doomed themselves with four turnovers and a nullified punt-return touchdown in a 31-13 loss at Tennessee. Stephen Garcia completed 25 of 50 passes for 300 yards but got no support from his ground game (65 yards on 20 carries).

6. AUBURN (7.5): Gene Chizik's Tigers (6-3, 3-3) snapped a three-game losing streak by dumping Ole Miss 33-20. A 23-point third-quarter explosion proved decisive. Ben Tate rushed for 144 yards and Chris Todd bounced back from three horrible outings in a row to complete 12 of 22 passes for 212 yards.

7. OLE MISS (7.5): The Rebels (5-3, 2-3) got a 79-yard touchdown run from Dexter McCluster and an 82-yard kickoff return from Jesse Grandy but not much else in a 33-20 loss at Auburn. McCluster finished with 186 yards on 22 carries. Celebrated QB Jevan Snead completed less than half of his passes and threw two picks, one of which was returned for an Auburn TD.

8. GEORGIA (7.5): Mark Richt's Bulldogs (4-4, 3-3) came out in black helmets and black pants against Florida but were beaten black and blue, 41-17. Joe Cox completed 11 of 20 passes for 165 yards with three interceptions. Backup Logan Gray went 0 for 3, with one of his misfires being returned for a Florida touchdown.

9. ARKANSAS (7.0): The Razorbacks (4-4, 1-4) had the next-best-thing to an open date, piling up 589 yards of total offense in a 63-27 drubbing of winless Eastern Michigan, now 0-8. The Hogs scored 21 points in each of the first three quarters before shutting down their attack. Ryan Mallett completed 14 of 16 passes for 249 yards and 3 touchdowns. Arkansas's defense did not allow the Eagles to notch a first down until the third quarter.

10. MISSISSIPPI STATE (7.0): Dan Mullen's Bulldogs (4-5, 2-3) got a school-record 252-yard rushing performance from Anthony Dixon in a 31-24 win at Kentucky. Tyson Lee completed 10 of 17 passes for 145 yards but threw two picks. MSU piled up 493 total yards in the victory.

11. KENTUCKY (6.0): The Big Blue (4-4, 1-4) surrendered 348 rushing yards and 21 third-quarter points in a 31-24 loss to visiting Mississippi State. Derrick Locke rushed 17 times for 103 yards and freshman QB Morgan Newton completed 11 of 18 passes for 119 yards. Flashy Randall Cobb caught two passes for 32 yards and added a 46-yard punt return.

12. VANDERBILT (5.5): The Commodores (2-7, 0-5) appeared on the verge of a colossal upset when they led 11th-ranked Georgia Tech 31-28 late in the third period. Vandy surrendered four touchdowns in the game's final 16 minutes, however, and fell 56-31. Freshman Warren Norman was a bright spot in defeat, contributing 60 rushing yards and an 80-yard kickoff return for touchdown. No. 1 quarterback Larry Smith pulled a hamstring, so Mackenzi Adams (12 of 22, 152 yards) played the final 3 1/2 quarters.

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