(1) Alabama Crimson Tide (-14.5, 48.5 o/u) vs. (16) Missouri Tigers
The number one team in the country, Alabama, has one hurdle left in order to cement its place in the College Football Playoff. That hurdle? Beating the Missouri Tigers in the SEC Championship game, this Saturday at the Georgia Dome (4:00 p.m. Eastern).
Alabama was uncharacteristically generous on defense in last week’s Iron Bowl, giving up 44 points to archrival Auburn. But the Tide hit the gas in the second half and cruised to a 55-44 win, covering as 8.5-point favorites. The win kept them atop the CFP rankings for yet another week.
After the win, Alabama head coach Nick Saban praised the competition that the SEC has put forward this year. “I think we have an outstanding league and we have a lot of good teams and the fact that we play each other and end up beating each other probably hurts a little bit,” said Saban.
“I think some of the teams in our division are really, really good teams and I’m sure there are some other really good teams out there that I have not seen. … Without looking at everyone, I would think that somebody in our league qualifies to be one of the better four teams in the country based on the quality of the league and the good teams that we all have to play,” the coach added.
With two losses on their resume, the Missouri Tigers won’t be reaching the playoffs, regardless of what happens on Saturday. But an unexpected win over Alabama would be the highlight of what has been a very good year for the Tigers, and it would put Missouri in an excellent Bowl Game come Christmas.
But the Tigers aren’t worried about what a win over Alabama will get them; they’re approaching the SEC Championship like it’s the last game of the year. “Honestly those things take care of themselves,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “I don’t make predictions. We’re just doing what we do. We want to play well, and whatever happens, happens.”
The College Football betting odds have Alabama as a 14.5-point favorite and the over/under is at 48.5. Keep in mind, Bama smashed Mizzou 42-10 in their last meeting in 2012.
(Photo credit: U.S. Navy photo by Midshipman 4th Class Dominic Montez [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)