Missouri had their chance to defeat Alabama in the SEC title game, but Nick Saban’s bunch was too much for the Tigers. Now 12-1, it is clear that the Crimson Tide are going to the College Football Playoffs. Although this Alabama team isn’t like the ones the Tide has fielded in years past, what this team has going for them is how balanced they are. Alabama’s defense hasn’t been that dominant. Instead, it is their balanced offensive attack that has led the way.
When A.J. McCarron left, many questioned who would be the starting quarterback for the Tide. Blake Sims, who is a senior and had to watch McCarron win all of those awards, is becoming a household name in college football. Sure he has a great offensive line, an excellent running back duo in T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry, and the nation’s best receiver in Amari Cooper, but Sims is still the quarterback and he is playing by far the most important position at any football level. Despite all of these weapons clicking at the right time for the Tide, many believed the Tigers of Missouri would win this game at the Georgia Dome.
In this game, the Crimson Tide were unstoppable on both sides of the ball. Sims’ numbers aren’t amazing, but he got the job done and he didn’t turn the ball over. Sims finished with 262 passing yards and two touchdowns. On the ground, the combination of Yeldon and Henry ran for over 180 yards and scored four touchdowns in the process. Cooper caught 12 passes for around 80 yards and DeAndrew White had over 100 yards and a touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, Missouri’s quarterback Maty Mauk and running back Russell Hansbrough had no answers to get past this Tide defense. Mauk and Hansbrough combined for under 300 yards, which is the reason why the Tigers scored just 13 points.
Now winners of the SEC again for the third time in the past six years, Alabama will get ready for the college playoffs. Whether it is Florida State, Oregon, TCU, Baylor, or Ohio State, it’s hard seeing anyone figure out this Alabama football team. Just when you think they’re going to ground and pound, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will dial up a great passing game. With excellent coaching and their players playing terrific football, Alabama is clearly the team to beat in the playoffs.
*Section Photo credit to Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Kevin Liles, USA Today Sports