And then there were two.

Missouri has surprised everyone (outside of Columbia, Mo.) and won back-to-back SEC East championships. On the other side, we have Alabama. I don’t think anyone is surprised they’re representing the SEC West.

Now let’s take look at this quarterback matchup and see who has the toughest task. I think it may surprise you: Blake Sims has the toughest task this weekend.

Missouri has arguably the best pass-rushing defensive ends in the country. Markus Golden and Shane Ray have been pretty awesome this year and the’ve caused all sorts of chaos for opposing quarterbacks. The defense has an SEC-leading 40 sacks this season, led by Shane Ray, who has a school record 13.5 sacks on the year. While he leads the team in sacks, all the guys on defense said Golden is the heart and soul of this unit.

Sims must contend with the pressure of a College Football Playoff bid. This is not the Alabama of old. This is a passing offense and they will go as far as Blake Sims goes. He’s been impressive all season, but he has the weight of Alabama Nation on his shoulders.

If the offensive line can’t protect Sims and give him time to find Amari Cooper, it could be upset city. The Crimson Tide’s line hasn’t been the typical line that we’re used to. It’s not a run-heavy offense and they aren’t wearing anybody down.

Lane Kiffin brought in an entirely new system. It has worked this year, as this has been the most explosive offense in Alabama’s history, but when they’ve faced stingy defenses, they haven’t been too convincing. Sims’ mobility will be big for this offense against this Missouri pass rush. If he can get out of the pocket and make plays both running the ball and throwing on the run, Missouri will have a tough time.

Sims’ ability to escape the pocket and finding Cooper and company down the field is the key to this game. For Missouri to have any chance at winning, the defensive line and linebackers will have to keep Sims in the pocket, squeeze it, and force Sims to make some bad throws.