Scott Rabalais’ SEC Rating Game: Surprise, surprise — look who’s back at No. 1 _lowres

Associated Press/AL.com by VASHA HUNT -- Alabama football coach Nick Saban

THE RATING GAME

1. Alabama (8-1, 5-1; last week: 2)

Dominant win over LSU making folks gloss over shaky games with Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee. Not over yet.

2. LSU (7-1, 4-1; last week: 1)

Fournette jersey and helmet auction fetched $101K. What would some fan pay for a win over Alabama?

3. Florida (8-1, 6-1; last week: 3)

When Gators roll into Atlanta no one will ask how they beat Vandy. Good thing.

4. Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2; last week: 6)

Cowbells will be clanging in Baton Rouge as LSU pulls for State to bring down Bama.

5. Ole Miss (7-3, 4-2; last week: 4)

Oxford blues after that blind lateral left Rebel title hopes hanging by a thread and ....

6. Arkansas (5-4, 3-2; last week: 9)

... made the Razorbacks forget 2002’s “Miracle on Markham” against LSU.

7. Georgia (6-3, 4-3; last week: 8)

Bulldogs got nice win over UK but speculation about Mark Richt’s future remains.

8. Tennessee (5-4, 3-3; last week: 7)

Turf at Neyland Stadium getting so bad some are concerned for player safety. Can you say “FieldTurf”?

9. Texas A&M (6-3, 3-3; last week: 5)

Offense at Kyle Field getting so bad some are concerned for Kevin Sumlin’s job.

10. Auburn (5-4, 2-4; last week: 10)

Has Jeremy Johnson gotten back in groove with win at Texas A&M? Jury still out.

11. Kentucky (4-5, 2-5; last week: 11)

Watching Kentucky football is like a video of an old Vegas hotel being imploded.

12. Vanderbilt (3-6, 1-4; last week: 13)

Vandy does what Vandy does: playing a superior team to the hilt before just falling short.

13. Southern Carolina (3-6, 1-6; last week: 12)

Gamecocks meet Gators in the “Spurrier Bowl,” but the HBC doesn’t plan to go.

14. Missouri (4-5, 1-5; last week: 14)

It’s a valid question whether Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel would have supported the boycott if Tigers were winning.

GAME OF THE WEEK

Alabama at Mississippi State, 2:30 p.m. Saturday (CBS)

The Tide seized control of the SEC West race with last Saturday’s 30-16 win over LSU, but now faces a potential trap of a trip to Starkville. Picked last in the SEC West, the Bulldogs have won four straight and are still alive for the division title. State QB Dak Prescott has one interception in 300 pass attempts.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Missouri will play BYU as scheduled after a player boycott was averted by the resignation of school president Tim Wolfe. ... Georgia and Auburn meet in the 119th edition of the Deep South’s oldest football rivalry. The series is tied 55-55-8. ... Mississippi State players will wear helmet stickers in honor of teammate Keith Joseph Jr. and his father, ex-MSU player Keith Joseph Sr., who died Friday in a single-car crash.

SATURDAY’S GAMES

Arkansas at No. 9 LSU, 6:15 p.m., CBS

North Texas at Tennessee, 11 a.m., SEC

Georgia at Auburn, 11 a.m., CBS

No. 11 Florida at S.Carolina, 11 a.m., ESPN

No. 3 Alabama at No. 20 Mississippi State, 2:30 p.m., CBS

Kentucky at Vanderbilt, 3 p.m., SEC

W.Carolina at Texas A&M, 6 p.m., ESPNU

BYU vs. Missouri, 6:30 p.m., at Kansas City, Mo., SEC