10 burning questions about the SEC Championship game


Throughout this season, SDS has produced burning questions for every SEC team after every weekend.

The SEC Championship brings on a whole new set of questions, and it’s going to be a fun matchup with Missouri and Auburn, two non-traditional SEC offenses, going to work for the right to hoist the trophy Saturday.

Related: Post regular season 14 burning questions for every team

Here are my SEC Championship burning questions:

1. Which head coach and coaching staff do you trust more for in-game adjustments and play calling?

2. Which quarterback – Auburn’s Nick Marshall or Mizzou’s James Franklin – do you trust more with the game on the line?

Related: SEC Championship preview

3. Since Mizzou’s defensive line has been a difference maker, will Auburn’s style of play with non-traditional pocket passing nullify Mizzou’s pass rush?

4. Will either defense be able to stop the other offense?

5. How important will field position and special teams be Saturday, or will the turnover margin (+16 for Mizzou, +1 for Auburn) become a much more important factor?

6. If one team should blow the other one out, which would it be and why?

7. If one team should win a close game, which would it be and why?

8. Do you believe in emotional letdowns? Will Auburn experience one Saturday?

9. Aside from Alabama, hasn’t Missouri been the most consistent team in the SEC? Why is nobody talking about Missouri?

10. Should Ohio State lose, which team matches up better with FSU?

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports



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  • This is my first post ever…

    1. Pinkel has been amazing at milking the clock in the 4th qtr, watch that. Malzahn has made some incredible from behind calls. Lets see how this plays out.
    2. Franklin- he’s been in big game after big game. I believe the offense started out cold against Texas AM the first half- but it’s not senior night and an overwhelming home crowd to get flustered by in Atlanta.
    3. No. Mizzou’s defense is coached well and has played against a lot. Let’s see how Nick Marshall plays with a lot of pressure from Andrew Wilson (who is a master at reading play calls).
    4. I think it will depend series by series- but the stats suggest Mizzou’s defense has a slight edge. Also watch the turnover margin here.
    5. If Mizzou or Auburn has a lot of ground to make up, this could be a low scoring game and then yes a TO margin could be the difference.
    6. Mizzou could blow out Auburn. Just look at how Mizzou has had massive leads in all games. Now my rose colored glasses may make me think this, but look back at the headlines leading up to the Mizzou vs. Tennessee game, many predicted a 2 in a row dropped game- turns out Mizzou took the challenge and blew out TN, the same TN South Carolina lost too.
    7. The past few weeks would suggest Auburn can win in a close one, but first off how long does a streak like that last? Second I think Mizzou has a bitter taste after blowing a close one to SC. Mizzou should be calm and steady just like it was against TAMU.
    8. I do… I think back to when Mizzou was #1 and headed to the big 12 championship game. We just beat #3 kansas… we beat our RIVAL! Just as much hate as UA vs AU… like civil war hate! But we dropped an egg in the championship because of the emotional high the weekend before. Yes its real and Mizzou has this advantage this year.
    9. Yes… unfortunately this is not at all new to Mizzou fans. As Pinkel said ‘everyone else in the BCS NC conversation has won a title, we are just the new kids on the block”. I’m hopeful the SEC mantra changes from the “Big 6” to the “Big 7” after 2013. We’d be the first to win outside Bama, LSU, Florida, Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee.
    10. Mizzou would match up the best. We are fast and have such a complete team. Also Mizzou could compete in a shoot out style game. But either team has a good chance.

    • Welcome, MizzouChamps.

    • In reference to the bitter taste, Auburn has had one all year long. They have been out for revenge all year long. And had they not have had a total let down in the first half against LSU, they’d be undefeated. Just like y’all would be without that one quarter against USC. I do fear the letdown though after an emotional victory against bama. Just hope Malzahn can get them settled down and focused. Looking forward to a great game

  • 1. Missouri adjustments are more sweeping and complete. Auburn might tweak just as well as Missouri. 2. Franklin will not make a mistake. if Mauk comes in, nobody knows what he’s going to try but he won’t be conservative 3. No 4. Yes, it’s the end of the year and many top team’s defenses are fine tuned to a lot of different schemes. 5. when teams are matched well football is field position. In one week can you make up for practicing turn-over margin for 5 years? The media calls some small margins blow-outs, but in reality highly athletic and skilled offenses can be ahead 3 touchdowns in one quarter and behind by 3 touchdowns 20 minutes later. 7. close games? if you flip a coin which side will it land on. 8. Certain things can happen in a game that hurt teams psychologically, Missouri has been through more mentally in the last two years than Auburn. 9. I wrote a log about this but the biggest reason is the one everyone else tip-toed around. No one in the SEC knows how to talk about a new team, a balanced team, the handle is hard to find, and the media have be saying Missouri is lucky every week and Crow tastes like….. Crow.
    Both Missouri and Auburn will shock Florida State so badly that will not be able to stay in any successful pattern of offense or defense. This won’t change the fact that they are athletic. It’s just that they won’t be efficient. The media has a serious problem. They didn’t keep the spotlight on enough Heisman candidates and after the BCS NCG there will be no popular candidates left.

  • This is going to be a great game. Make no mistake, THIS game is the National Championship game. FSU and OSU couldn’t hang with either team. Congrats to a well deserved Missouri team for a terrific season. War Damn Eagle!

    • Absolutely right. The relative strength of the SEC conference and division/conference Champion went up because we beat Alabama. You can go off by yourself and have a game between Notre Dame and Ohio State if you want but the polls of more than 33,000 fans say it won’t be the National Championship and in the last year of the BCS the fans are voting smarter than the media on this question so far.

    • I think both Auburn & Mizzou could beat Ohio St., but not FSU. Alabama is still the only team that could beat FSU. FWIW, I despise Bama (yes, it’s any envy thing over the last 5 years).

  • Number 7 is Auburn, unless their luck finally runs out.

    • LOL. It was luck that your coach made a dumb decision? I’ll take it

      • If the kid has shown he can hit kicks from that long, why not put him in to try? What happened at the end of the game was the absolute least likely thing to happen. A 108 Yard Missed Field Goal return with time expired is not something that happens, and can absolutely be chalked up to luck. I’m not bitter about the loss, it was a great game. I just hate that people are eating Saban alive for taking a chance when worst case scenario should have been OT. But while you’re on the “dumb decision” subject, two DBs for Georgia were apparently coached to try to intercept a 4th and 18 Hail Mary rather than knock it down and get better field position, but Richt is sticking with Grantham, so these sorts of blunders will continue.

  • This list can really be boiled down to one thing. Can the Mizzou defensive line that contained Manziel and the Aggies, the Dawgs, SC, the Vols , Miss, UF ( okay we can’t count UF, I think they had their mascot lined up over right tackle) contain the Auburn Machine. Because If they can, it’s a blowout, if they can’t it’s going to be a long night and Mizzou will have to find away to win. The Auburn attack is lethal. I’m one if those who believe Saban had to kick it. His team was gassed. Should be fun

  • Having played both teams a fairly close game, I’d say Mizzou is the better team. We played awful, on the road, against Auburn, & still had a chance at the end. In the Mizzou game even though it was only a 14 point loss, it felt like we were out of that game by the 2nd quarter. They’re defense was easily as good as Alabama’s, and we played Mizzou at home. Really not sure who I’m pulling for yet, but if I had to guess a score & winner, I’d say Mizzou 34 – Auburn 23. All that said, neither of these teams can beat FSU if they match up with them in the BCS NC.

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