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Phillip's Blog: Stacking up the SEC

Who would have believed that, seven weeks into the season, Mississippi State would be ranked and Florida wouldn't, that Auburn would be the face of the Southeastern Conference? It's been wild, and it will probably be wilder down the stretch.

Phillip Marshall, Senior Editor,

Following is how I rank the SEC, based only what has happened this season. Please do not interpret this as any kind of prediction of things to come.

1. Auburn (7-0, 4-0). The Tigers have won big, they've won close games, they've won at home and they've won on the road. As of today, they're class of the SEC. That could change Saturday when LSU comes to town. If Cam Newton and company pile up the points against LSU, you have to believe they can pile up points against anybody.

2. LSU (7-0, 3-0). The SEC's only other unbeaten team has not been impressive. Some would say the Bayou Bengals have been lucky, Doesn't matter. They are undefeated.

3. Alabama (6-1, 3-1). The Crimson Tide doesn't look nearly as good as it did last season on either side of the ball. Lots of people got carried away with a 31-6 win over Florida. That was before it became obvious the Gators aren't very good.

4. Mississippi State (5-2, 2-2). The Bulldogs' only losses are to No. 5 Auburn and No. 6 LSU. They beat Florida on the road, throwing just one pass in the second half. How long before Dan Mullen bolts for a better job?

5. South Carolina (4-2, 2-2). Maybe this isn't the year for Steve Spurrier after all. Then again, in the topsy-TV East, maybe it is.

6. Arkansas (4-2, 1-2). The Razorbacks are really, really good on offense. Can they play enough defense to stay in the race?

7. Florida (4-3, 2-3). The Gators have lost three straight. And more are on the way. Maybe Urban will decide he had it right last year when he announced he was retiring.

8. Georgia (3-4, 2-3). After four straight losses, the Bulldogs seem to be coming back at warp speed. Beating Tennessee and Vanderbilt at home doesn't mean much. Beating them by a combined score of 84-14 is pretty impressive.

9. Kentucky (4-3, 1-3). The Wildcats finally got the big win they'd flirted with all season, rallying from a 28-10 halftime deficit to beat South Carolina,. Quarerback Mike Hartline might be the best-kept secret in the SEC.

10. Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2). The Rebels got excited after beating Fresno State and Kentuckiy at home. They're still the team that lost at home to Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt.[/b]

11. Vanderbilt (2-4, 1-2). The Commodores have reverted to form. They can't score. They're no more than OK on defense. In short, they are Vanderbilt.

12. Tennessee (2-4, 0-3). Lane Kiffen left first-year coach Derek Dooley one huge mess./b[

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