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Vanderbilt's Battle Against #15 South Carolina Boosts the 'Dores to 88th in Sagarin Ratings

It appears that even computers can tell that Vanderbilt looked like a completely different team against South Carolina. The Commodores rose from 94th to 88th in the Sagarin Ratings despite a 48-34 loss to the Gamecocks on Saturday.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt lost by 14 points on Saturday night, but the final score of their contest against #15 South Carolina didn't reflect how close this game had actually been. It took a 21-point fourth quarter for Steve Spurrier to put away a fiesty Commodore team that refused to give in despite losing their starting quarterback in the first quarter.

The computers, apparently, took note.

Vanderbilt rose from 94th to 88th in Jeff Sagarin's NCAA Football ratings despite losing 34-48 to the Gamecocks at home. Karl Dorrell's newfound offensive proficiency (20 points, 379 total yards) helped boost the team's profile and appears to have even instilled optimism in the ratings formula.

Here are the I-AA teams that the formula rates in front of Vandy through week four:

43. North Dakota State
70. South Dakota State
75. Villanova
77. Eastern Washington
82. Northern Iowa
87. Jacksonville State

Here are the BCS Conference teams that Sagarin would favor Vanderbilt over on a neutral field:

95. Colorado (also beat UMass by 3 points)
102. Kansas
109. Purdue
120. Wake Forest

That's not great company to keep, but it's a huge step forward from when this team had been ranked 132nd by the USA Today formula. They'll travel to #58 Kentucky this weekend in search of their first SEC victory.