Neither the Missouri or Auburn Tigers were picked to do anything in their respective SEC divisions this year, but yet here they are in early December, set to play for the championship in the best conference in football…and perhaps a berth in the BCS title game with a little help.
Missouri had their backs against the wall needing to win out after a tough double overtime loss in October to USC. This past Saturday, Mizzou beat the reigning Heisman winner and former Big 12 foe (how fitting) to get to the SEC title game in their second season.
Auburn didn’t know what to expect from their team this season. They took their lumps last year, but came back under the leadership of Gus Malzahn and in the last two weeks have won games in unimaginable fashion. Faced with a 4th and 18 against Georgia, they convert on a Hail Mary for the game winning score and then return a short field goal 109 yards for a victory against their rival Alabama.
After dramatic wins, both head coaches, Gary Pinkel and Malzahn, know perhaps their biggest challenge will be mentally getting their team ready for another big battle on Saturday in Atlanta.