What happened to you on Saturday: SEC Championship

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Missouri vs Auburn

Recappin’ a weekend of SEC football with the only must-read Monday morning article for SEC football fans…

Related: Final BCS rankings ever

Auburn Runs Away With SEC Title

Auburn is going to run the football, and there is nothing you can do about it. Led by Tre Mason’s 304 yards (304 yards!) and four touchdowns, Auburn has completed an incredible one-year turnaround going from zero conference wins in 2012 to 2013 SEC Champions. They are champions because they run the football better than everyone else in the country and because they have magic in their blood and witchcraft in their bones.

Alabama and Missouri are the two best-run defenses in the SEC, and over the last two weeks Auburn has torched them for a combined 841 rushing yards. That number is insane. These are two of the best defenses in the country, and they can’t stop Auburn from running the ball down their throats. It helps that Tre Mason apparently doesn’t get tired. He carried the ball 46 times on Saturday, and in his post-game interview didn’t even appear to be sweating. If you told me after the game Tre Mason left the Georgia Dome and jogged back to Auburn, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Quarterback/athletic freak Nick Marshall executed the read option effectively all game, adding 101 yards of his own on the ground and a touchdown. Head coach Gus Malzahn is an offensive genius, and his offense is on fire heading into the BCS Championship game against Florida State.

I don’t know if there are enough complimentary words to throw at Gus Malzahn. His offense is a beautiful thing to watch. I found myself just watching his offensive lineman on the touchdown replays, not believing their speed and endurance. Yes, we’re talking offensive line speed! Gus demands that his offense plays fast, and his line never slowed down in the most critical game of the season.

Auburn fans need to realize how fortunate they are to have a season like this. The Mississippi State win on a touchdown with 10 seconds left, the hard fought A&M win against Johnny Football, the Georgia Hail Mary, the Iron Bowl Miracle, Tre Mason’s SEC Championship game performance? These represent a stunning amount of unforgettable, emotionally gratifying moments. And to cap it all off you get to go to Pasadena, the best venue in football, and play for a National Championship! Seasons like this don’t come around often, so cherish it.

I’m being told at least one Auburn fan is cherishing the moment. My buddy Rush was sitting in the KooKoo Room in Atlanta following the game when Sir Charles Barkley rolled into the bar and says, “War Motherf#$%ing Eagle! Drinks are on me!” Barkley’s the best. We should put his face on money.

Related: Tre Mason for Heisman

Holy Offense!

One hundred and one total points. One thousand two hundred and eleven combined total yards. Auburn had 545 rushing yards alone. Missouri quarterback James Franklin had 362 total yards and accounted for four touchdowns. Dorial Green-Beckham looked like he’s officially become the best receiver in college football, catching six passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Auburn had five players break 20-plus yard runs, including some dude named Cameron Artis-Payne, who I think came out of the stands to juke like ten dudes on his 21-yard touchdown run, before returning to his seat. This is Xbox shit. Now is this a result of great offense or bad defense? Yes.

Related: SEC football final team stats, Mizzou’s run D took a hit

Mizzou Comes Up Short

If you would have told Missouri that they were going to score 42 points in the SEC Championship game they would have been thrilled, until you told them they’d also almost give up 60. Missouri did a lot of things right on Saturday, including moving the football and producing turnovers, but ultimately they couldn’t stop Auburn from moving the ball. It was stunning to watch Auburn march all over a defense that has been solid all season. We were waiting for adjustments, but they just never came. It was a nice season for Missouri, coming back from an injury plagued 5-7 2012, but the Tigers ended up losing to the two best teams they played this season, while Auburn beat the two best teams they’ve played this season. That’s why Auburn is going to the BCS Championship game, and Missouri is going to the Cotton Bowl.

Related: SEC bowl pairings

8 Straight?

Auburn did their part, convincingly beating Missouri and winning the SEC Championship, but they still needed some help from Sparty, and they got it. Michigan State’s upset over Ohio State means the world and once again is getting the National Championship game they deserve. #1 Florida State will face #2 Auburn on January 6, in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. Florida State will likely be favored by around a touchdown, but don’t sleep on Auburn. Jameis Winston is a superstar quarterback and likely Heisman Trophy winner, but Auburn has already shown they can beat elite quarterbacks. They beat Johnny Manziel, they beat A.J. McCarron, and they beat Aaron Murray. FSU has an elite defense, but they haven’t faced anyone remotely as good as Auburn. FSU is very good, but I don’t know if they will score more points against Auburn than Missouri just did, and the question is can Florida State’s defense, with a month to prepare for Malzahn’s offense, slow down the Tigers? I can’t wait to find out.

Plays That Mattered

Nick Marshall

Nick Marshall didn’t have to throw the ball a lot on Saturday, but when he did he was effective, going 9-11 on the day. He’s just getting better, and this next month of practice might do wonders for Marshall.

DGB

DGB is going to be very rich one day. He has that Lebron James-like physical skill set that can’t be coached. He’s really turned the corner over the last few weeks of the season, and I can’t wait to see him next season.

Tre Mason

Tre Mason had a legendary performance on Saturday. He ran the ball 46 times for over 300 yards. He broke Bo Jackson’s single game rushing record with Bo in the house. He probably won’t win the Heisman, but he earned himself a trip to New York City on Saturday.

What They Meant To Say

“I honestly can’t believe how good we are. I mean, it’s crazy that we are this good. I guess I’m really, really, really good at coaching football.” Gus Malzahn, Head Coach, Auburn University

”Did I throw the game? Maybe. I mean, people probably won’t even remember me losing to Michigan State, but they sure as hell would have remembered our 50-point loss to Florida State in the championship game. This is me avoiding getting completely exposed.” – Urban Meyer, Head Coach, AN Ohio State University

“Alabama, Texas, whatever. All I know is somebody is going to be paying me $8 million dollars a year.” - Nick Saban, Head Coach, University of Alabama

REFERENCES

COMMENTS

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  • You forgot the part about Gary Danielson gushing over himself in his usual pretentious manner…and Verne being drunk or high before the half. “DOINK”….”DOINK”

  • As an Auburn fan, yes, you are absolutely right. I am going to cherish this season. I mean the Cam Newton season was magical and lots of fun, but coming back from 24 points down to beat Bama isn’t quite as exciting as what happened this year. If only we can cap this season off with another win. I think my head will explode. I don’t know if I can take it. Oh God. By the way William Wallace (no offense any other writers on this site, you guys are great and all) you are the single greatest sports writer of all time. Period. Keep doing what you do. Your articles bring me lots of joy on Mondays. Thanks man.

    • Actually I meant my hear will explode. Urban style. We should make an Urban Style dance with everyone clinching their chests. It will be way less cheesy than that Korean dude who has a trillion views on youtube.

  • Congrats to Auburn. The way they beat us, they deserve to play for the NC, even if OSU would have won. We have played solid and smart all year. But you couldn’t tell after that game. The way Auburn shrank our defense reminded me of the the pathetic Big12 days. Proud of my Tigers and our incredible turn around, but also respectful to the better team. Whoop those Seminoles, they don’t stand a chance. I can’t imagine anybody slowing down that AU offense. Wow! Totally impressed.

    • Second this, but add that Missouri had the lead 4 times including well into the 2nd half, so it wasn’t a run-away or a blow out or any other term that implies there was a huge difference in the game. It wasn’t Missouri’s defenders that got frustrated and had to resort to pushing the best opponent’s running back into carts well out of bounds. And I didn’t see Missouri’s o-line having to resort to holding shirts at the shoulder pad on every play. If the BCS NCG is officiated like a college game, then Missouri might have actually been the better representative. Still want to praise Auburn, go SEC, let’s run the BCS NCG table. out.

      • one more thing, for all you talking heads that don’t actually watch what’s going on. DGB is making slow but sure progress on basic requirements, running routes, changing directions, maintaining/ creating space from defender, showing the QB where he wants the ball with body language, catching with the hands vs. the body when appropriate. He didn’t flip a switch this year, and he’s a longways from his best college performance, so if you think he’s the best now?, just wait.

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