By Ray Hamill
I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest the Tigers will win the SEC Championship.
The Missouri Tigers that is.
And I’m further going to suggest that they’ll play in the BCS Championship once they do.
For that to happen, two things need to transpire Saturday.
First up, Missouri will have to beat their fellow Tigers of Auburn (the so-called team of destiny) for the SEC crown, which they will because they’re a better all-around team, they’re playing better defense, they make bigger plays on defense, they can pass the ball, and, as they’ve shown against Johnny Goofball earlier this year, they have the speed on the outside of their defensive front to contain a dangerous running offense by forcing things up the middle.
They’ve also played just one bad quarter all season and are one double-overtime loss to South Carolina from being undefeated right now.
Auburn, meanwhile, has been living dangerously for a long time, and has relied on two of the biggest ever miracle finishes in the history of college football just to get to the SEC Championship.
In the hard-nosed and sometimes brutal world of college football, you can only survive on miracles for so long.
The second thing that needs to happen for Missouri to make it to Pasadena in January is that Ohio State must lose to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship, which it will.
Head coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes deserve plenty of credit for going undefeated for two seasons now, but their schedule has been a relative cakewalk, and unlike Florida State they have been less than convincing along the way.
Michigan State has lost just once this season, succeeding with a stellar defense, and is primed to pull off the upset and end Ohio State’s BCS Championship ambitions.
And that will leave the door open for Missouri, perhaps the most under-appreciated team in college football, to move into the top-two and earn a spot in the BCS Championship.
Tune in next month and I’ll tell you if the Tigers can win it all once they get there.