Thursday, December 5, 2013
SEC championship game predictions
By Edward Aschoff
Well, we're finally here. I'm sure we all got this SEC championship game right.
(Don't even try it, Auburn and Missouri fans!)
This might not be the matchup everyone saw coming, but it's going to be great when Auburn and Missouri get together in the Georgia Dome. I'm not sure if Atlanta is ready for an invasion of Tigers.
You know who else wasn't ready? Our buddy Chris Low. He tried valiantly to make a strong comeback this season in the picks but made a critical error last week. The veteran, the pro, the certified man picked against Mizzou at home against a struggling Texas A&M team. I learned from my mistakes, but Chris showed just how stubborn he is.
Last week, we both went 7-2 and missed on Auburn's thrilling 34-28 win over No. 1 Alabama. I slipped up and picked Ole Miss over Mississippi State but picked Mizzou in order to keep my two-game lead over Chris. Heading into Saturday's SEC championship game, I'm sitting pretty at 96-17 (.850), while Chris is 94-19 (.832).
Now is the time for Chris to make up some ground before bowl season, which will decide his fate. If he takes a three-game deficit into the most wonderful time of the year, he's toast.
Chris will be in Atlanta this weekend, which means he'll be hanging with his buddy Oscar and checking in on his favorite cat, Meeko. Distractions galore reside in the ATL
and Chris can only stay away from Buckhead for so long.
Here are our picks for the SEC title game:
MISSOURI vs. AUBURN
Chris Low: Between them, Auburn and Missouri won two SEC games last season, and eight of their combined 14 losses in the league were by 21 points or more. So if anybody says they had these two teams in the SEC championship game back in August, I’m not buying it. In retrospect, though, both teams were far more talented than they played a season ago. Missouri didn’t endure nearly as many injuries as it did last season -- particularly in the offensive line -- and first-year Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was able to come in and help that program regain its edge. Both teams are capable of lighting it up offensively, but Missouri has proven to be a little bit better on defense. Combine that with it being next to impossible for Auburn to come back down from the emotional high of upsetting Alabama last week, and it all adds up to an SEC championship for Mizzou in only its second season in the league.
Missouri 31, Auburn 27
Edward Aschoff: I'm going to go out on a limb here and take the Tigers this weekend. Pretty easy one for me. OK, in all seriousness, this is a really tough pick this week. We have two high-powered offenses and two improved defenses. After AJ McCarron hit his 99-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper early in the fourth quarter, Auburn allowed just 53 yards and blocked a field goal before Chris Davis' magical return. As for Mizzou, these Tigers lead the SEC in sacks (37) and tackles for loss (95). We know both teams can move the ball and put points on the board, as they both rank in the top four in the SEC in total offense and scoring. The difference will be the play up front, and Auburn's running game has been ridiculous. I love what Mizzou has done up front, but Auburn can run power, triple option, read-option and loves to fool teams with formation deception. I think this one will be close, but Tre Mason, Nick Marshall and Auburn's running game will grind out another win.
Auburn 31, Missouri 27