The more I have watched Missouri play this year the more respect I have for the job Coach Gary Pinkel has done with his football team. There is a lot to like about the way his guys play the game and they will offer a major test for Coach Gus Malzahn's Auburn team on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
This is championship game week in several of the major conferences. Here is a look at this week's most interesting matchups around the country:
Texas at Baylor--The Bears should have too much offense for the visiting Longhorns.
Missouri vs. Auburn, SEC Championship–There are a lot of reasons Gus Malzahn's team comes into Saturday's game with an 11-1 record and a chance to add another chapter to the story of the biggest turnaround in Auburn football history. One of the major reasons is this team's physical and mental toughness.
In my opinion the job that strength and conditioning coach Ryan Russell has done with this team in getting the Tigers ready to play hard for four quarters in an aggressive, up-tempo style of play has been a major factor in Auburn's success. I expect that to be a factor on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
The group of players has been able to go the distance with intensity for four quarters all season. They are going to need to do that vs. Missouri and I think they will.
Combine this team's toughness with a great rushing attack with a difference-maker with Nick Marshall at quarterback and I think that will be enough for Auburn to come home with the SEC Championship Trophy on Saturday night.
(Overall Record: 130-32)