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Loss Somehow Improves Vanderbilt's Sagarin Rating to 84th...Somehow

Score zero offensive touchdowns...improve four spots in the national rankings. Jeff Sagarin's rankings clearly have a definitive preference for defense over offense.

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt's offense had a horrible day against Kentucky. The improved play of their defense helped the team rise in the Sagarin Ratings in spite of that.

Vandy failed to move the ball against the Wildcats and gained just 139 (139!) total yards on Saturday, but they also held a strong UK team to just 17 points. That showing was good enough to improve the Commodores from 88th to 84th in Jeff Sagarin's computer ratings after week five.

Despite a 1-4 record, Vanderbilt is rated ahead of all but five I-AA teams this season:

42. North Dakota State
69. South Dakota State
74. Villanova
77. Eastern Washington
80. Northern Iowa

Vandy is currently SO CLOSE to being a top five FCS team. Unfortunately, that still leaves them as the lowest-rated program in the SEC for 2014. Here are all the teams from BCS conferences that Vanderbilt outranked after week five:

86. Illinois
94. Colorado
112. Purdue
115. Kansas
118. Wake Forest

That's still some ignominious company to keep, but that's where Vandy stands thanks to an underwhelming record. They'll have a chance to rise a few more spots this weekend if they can upset #7 Georgia.

Here's how the rest of Vandy's schedule looks, according to Monsieur Sagarin:

at Georgia (#7)
vs. Charleston Southern (#184)
at Missouri (#28)
vs. Old Dominion (#128)
vs. Florida (#19 ...wat)
at Mississippi State (#24)
vs. Tennessee (#30)