Just one year after Auburn and Missouri were at the bottom of their respective divisions in the SEC, the two teams will meet on Saturday in the SEC Championship game. To say that is quite a surprise is probably an understatement, especially with the firepower that is in the SEC.
The Auburn Tigers are coming off of one of the most memorable games in college football history. Their win over Alabama was called an instant classic, made national news and almost broke social media. But most importantly, it got Auburn into the National Championship conversation. Sure, Ohio State and Florida State are both undefeated and ranked ahead of Auburn. But if the Tigers, of Auburn that is, could win on Saturday, they would be able to add SEC Champions to their already impressive resume that has a wins over ranked teams including Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. If they didn’t get beat by LSU earlier in the season, we probably wouldn’t even be having this conversation and Auburn would likely be a lock.
On the other hand, we have a Missouri Tigers team that is currently ranked #5 in the nation. One could argue that if a one-loss Auburn team has the potential to leap frog Ohio State to play in the National Championship, maybe a one-loss Missouri team has that same potential. If Missouri had played Alabama this year, they may have a stronger argument. However, if they could beat the team that just beat Alabama, that could be just what they need.
All eyes will turn to the Georgia Dome on Saturday afternoon. This is going to be a huge game, not just for the champions of the SEC, but potentially the outlook of a handful of Bowl Games and the National Championship.
And once this game is done, all attention will shift to Duke vs Florida State and Ohio State vs Michigan State.
Duke has had the best football season in its schools history. That said, they are still a 31-point underdog to the Seminoles in the ACC Championship on Saturday. And while it looks like Jameis Winston and the Seminoles will roll onto the BCS National Championship, the Blue Devils will look to get what could be the hugest win ever for their football program.
And as for Ohio State, they have gotten quite a bit of slack for being a team that hasn’t really played anybody to warrant a 12-0 record and the #2 spot in the nation. However, when they play #10 Michigan State on Saturday, they’ll get a chance to prove everyone wrong. However, this will be their toughest win of the season and a loss would allow for one of those SEC teams to possibly creep into that Championship game that everyone covets.
And let’s say that somehow, both Florida State and Ohio State are upset on Saturday. That will likely mean that whoever wins that SEC Championship game will fall into the National Championship. But as the rankings stand now, the next best team would be Alabama. Does that mean that an Alabama squad, who lost their most recent game and won’t play in the SEC Championship, could still get a shot at the national title?
We won’t count our eggs before they hatch. But with the games that will be played on Saturday, we are in for the beginning of a crazy few months that mark the Bowl Season for college football. And with this being the last year before a college football playoff, there is plenty on the line for all of the teams that are playing.