SEC Ratings

SEC Ratings

There isn't much doubt that the Western Division is superior to the Eastern Division this SEC football season. Even with Ole Miss falling short of its preseason top-10 projections, four of the top five teams in the league hail from the West.

Unbeaten Alabama remains No. 1 in my weekly SEC Ratings. Florida, the only team from the East to crack the top five, holds the second spot. Next come Ole Miss, LSU and fast-finishing Arkansas. Injury-depleted Tennessee rounds out the top half of the league at No. 6.

That said, here are this week's rankings:

1. ALABAMA (9.5): The Tide (11-0 overall, 7-0 SEC) got 102 rushing yards from Mark Ingram in a 45-0 pasting of Chattanooga. Ingram needs 73 yards in the regular-season finale vs. Auburn to break Bobby Humphrey's single-season school record of 1,471. Bama limited Mocs quarterback B. J. Coleman to 7 completions in 25 attempts for 36 yards, intercepting him twice.

2. FLORIDA (9.5): The Gators (11-0, 8-0) pushed their winning streak to 21 games by hammering hapless Florida International 62-3. Tim Tebow (17 of 25, 215 yards, 2 TDs) and backup John Brantley (9 of 13, 146 yards, 3 TDs) completed a combined 26 of 38 passes for 361 yards and 5 touchdowns.

3. OLE MISS (8.0): The Rebels (8-3, 4-3) got another big effort from Dexter McCluster in beating LSU 25-23. McCluster rushed 24 times for 148 yards and threw a 27-yard halfback pass for a touchdown.

4. LSU (8.0): The Tigers (8-3, 4-3) continue to miss injured tailback Charles Scott, managing just 40 net rushing yards in a 25-23 loss at Ole Miss. With no ground support, Jordan Jefferson completed 19 of 37 passes for 250 yards.

5. ARKANSAS (7.5): The Razorbacks (7-4, 3-4) won their fourth game in a row, trouncing Mississippi State 42-21. Ryan Mallett completed 18 of 34 passes for 313 yards and posted his third five-TD game of the season. Cobi Hamilton caught scoring passes of 58 and 64 yards.

6. TENNESSEE (7.5): The Vols (6-5, 3-4) got just enough offense from seniors Jonathan Crompton (20 of 34 passing for 221 yards) and Montario Hardesty (32 rushes for 171 yards) to overcome an injury-riddled defense and beat Vanderbilt 31-16.

7. AUBURN (7.5): Gene Chizik's Tigers (7-4, 3-4) had an open date to rest up for this weekend's Iron Bowl game with Alabama.

8. SOUTH CAROLINA (7.0): The Gamecocks (6-5, 3-5) had an open date.

9. KENTUCKY (7.0): The Wildcats (7-4, 3-4) posted their second consecutive SEC road win - they won at Vandy last weekend - by dumping Georgia 34-27 in Athens. Freshman Morgan Newton completed 9 of 17 passes for 137 yards and three TDs. Derrick Locke did the rest, rushing 16 times for 80 yards and catching two passes for another 80 - a 20-yard TD grab and a 60-yard TD grab.

10. GEORGIA (7.0): Mark Richt's mistake-prone Bulldogs (6-5, 4-4) lost the turnover battle 4-0 and lost the game 34-27 to visiting Kentucky. Joe Cox passed for 291 yards and three TDs but threw two crucial interceptions in the fourth quarter.

11. MISSISSIPPI STATE (7.0): Dan Mullen's Bulldogs (4-7, 2-5) picked up 327 rushing yards but just 49 passing yards in a 42-21 loss to Arkansas. Anthony Dixon starred in defeat, rushing 24 times for 176 yards.

12. VANDERBILT (5.5): The Commodores (2-10, 0-8) lost 31-16 at Tennessee but did muster their highest point total of the season against an SEC foe. The previous high of 13 came against Kentucky.

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