For the second consecutive year, the Missouri Tigers advanced to the SEC Championship game, and for the second straight year they faced off with the winner of the previous week's Iron Bowl. Unfortunately for them, the result was very similar to 2013, as the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated Mizzou in a rout and won the SEC Championship game by a score of 42-13, all but guaranteeing them a spot in the first ever College Football Playoff.
It was a rough start for Missouri and a great start for Alabama. The Crimson Tide received the opening kickoff, and in just 3:36 of game time drove down the field and scored on Mizzou, going 68 yards in the process. After a couple good stops by both defenses, quarterback Blake Sims threw a beautiful deep ball to DeAndrew White for a 58 yard touchdown for the Crimson Tide to extend their lead to 14-0.
On the same play, Mizzou's best player, Shane Ray, was ejected for targeting the head of Blake Sims, and losing his ability to rush the passer off of the edge was costly for the Tigers. Mizzou would get on the board in the second quarter on a 33-yard field goal from Andrew Baggett, but another short TJ Yeldon rushing touchdown would send the teams into the locker room with an 18-point difference, in favor of Alabama.
The third quarter was completely dominated by MU, as they quickly scored a touchdown on their first drive, although it did take them four tries from the one yard line to score. They would add a field goal to make it 21-13, which was the score through the third quarter.
Alabama charged down field at the end of the quarter, however, and on the first play of the fourth punched it in to extend their lead to 15. That lead would never be relinquished, as Mizzou could never overcome their slow start. A tough day for Maty Mauk and the Tigers offense as a whole doomed Mizzou, as Alabama sealed another SEC championship. After two more touchdowns, Alabama wrapped the game up by a score of 42-13.
For Mizzou, quarterback Maty Mauk had a rough game, starting off very slowly. He finished off completing 16-of-34 passes for 272 yards and one touchdown, good for a 124 rating. Russell Hansbrough was the leading rusher for the Tigers, accumulating just 21 yards on 13 carries on the ground. Jimmie Hunt led the team in receiving with 169 yards on six receptions. Andrew Baggett was also 2/2 on field goals.
Alabama put up more yards against Mizzou than any other team has this season, ending with 504 yards of total offense. Blake Sims had a great game, going 23-of-27 passing for 262 yards and two touchdowns, giving him a passer efficiency rating of 191.1. Derrick Henry had a huge game on the ground, as the sophomore racked up 141 yards on 20 carries, and he also scored two touchdowns. TJ Yeldon also scored two touchdowns on the day, to go along with his 47 yards. Amari Cooper led the Crimson Tide in receptions with 12, while DeAndrew White led the team with 101 receiving yards.
It will go down as another successful season for the Missouri Tigers, but it's undeniable that the team is disappointed after coming up short in the SEC title game in two straight seasons. They will still get a good bowl bid and can be proud of an SEC East title, but coming up short twice in a row will sting for Gary Pinkel's team. Missouri will certainly be in the hunt again next year, with Maty Mauk returning with another year of experience. Still, this blowout loss will not be soon forgotten in Columbia, Missouri.
For the Alabama Crimson Tide, this win all but sealed up the #1 seed in the first ever College Football Playoff. A dominant win in the championship game of the best conference in college football will make Alabama the favorite going forward. They are not a perfect team, as they still have flaws to work out, such as a weakness in the secondary when it comes to deep passes.
Even so, this win over Mizzou showed off all of the talent that this Crimson Tide team possesses. They will be seeded in the final College Football Playoff rankings midday on Sunday.