SEC Ratings

SEC Ratings

The dust has settled. The SEC Championship Game and all of the bowl games are concluded, leaving Alabama as the No. 1 team in the land and Florida not far behind.

As usual, some SEC teams showed their mettle in bowl play, while others showed next to nothing. A few distinguished themselves and a few embarrassed themselves. That said, here are my final SEC Ratings of the 2009 season:

1. ALABAMA (9.5): The Tide (14-0 overall, 8-0 SEC) won the national championship by beating Texas 37-21 in the BCS championship game. Bama wasn't always impressive but it beat every team put in front of it, and that's all a team can do.

2. FLORIDA (9.5): The Gators (13-1, 8-0) lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game since my previous ratings came out but bounced back to hammer an unbeaten Cincinnati team 51-10 in the Sugar Bowl. I believe Florida is the second-best team in the land, behind Bama.

3. LSU (7.5): The Tigers (9-4, 5-3) had as much talent as anyone in the SEC but struggled offensively on several occasions. That was the case in a 19-17 loss to Penn State in the Capital One Bowl.

4. ARKANSAS (7.5): The Razorbacks (8-5, 3-5) played some uninspired football on their way to beating East Carolina 20-17 in the Liberty Bowl but, as that great philosopher Johnny Majors once said, "A win is a win."

5. OLE MISS (7.5): The enigmatic Rebels (9-4, 4-4) bounced back from a 41-27 loss to Mississippi State in the regular-season final to dump a good Oklahoma State team 20-7 in the Cotton Bowl.

6. AUBURN (7.0): Gene Chizik's Tigers (8-5, 3-5) needed an overtime and an injury to Northwestern's kicker to subdue an outmanned but scrappy Wildcats squad 38-35 in the Outback Bowl.

7. TENNESSEE (7.0): The Vols (7-6, 4-4) finished on a sour note, losing 37-14 in the Chick fil-A Bowl to a Virginia Tech team that was better but not 23 points better.

8. GEORGIA (7.0): Mark Richt's Bulldogs (8-5, 4-4) followed their upset of Georgia Tech in the regular-season finale with another good win in the Independence Bowl, trouncing Texas A&M 44-20.

9. SOUTH CAROLINA (7.0): The Gamecocks (7-6, 3-5), coming off a big win over Clemson in the regular-season finale, gave a pitiful showing in a 20-7 loss to UConn in the Bowl.

10. KENTUCKY (7.0): The Wildcats (7-6, 3-5) closed the Rich Brooks era on a disappointing note, bowing 21-13 to Clemson in the Music City Bowl.

11. MISSISSIPPI STATE (7.0): Dan Mullen's Bulldogs (5-7, 3-5) did not qualify for postseason play, but they'll spend the offseason reliving their 41-27 pasting of Ole Miss in the regular-season finale.

12. VANDERBILT (5.5): The Commodores (2-10, 0-8) have the next six months to figure out what went wrong in 2009. Recommended Stories

Up Next

Now that the season is over, and the Southeastern Conference has claimed its fourth consecutive…