Alabama, 10-1 overall, won the SEC Western Division with a 7-1 conference record. Missouri, winner of the SEC East, also had a 7-1 league mark, but was 10-2 overall. Bama’s SEC loss was to Ole Miss, 23-17, in Oxford, while the Tigers lost to Georgia, 34-0, in Columbia. Mizzou also suffered a none-conference loss on its home field to Indiana.
Bama comes into the game with a seven-game winning streak, Missouri with a six-game winning streak.
The Crimson Tide is ranked first in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls, while Missouri is 14th in the AP, 13th in Coaches. The team that has come into the game ranked highest in those polls has a 16-6 record in the game. The College Football Playoff Selection Committee poll is due out later today.
Alabama is 4-4 in SEC Championship Games. The Tigers have played only once, losing to Auburn last year, 59-42. Bama is a charter member of the SEC, dating from 1933, and played in the first SEC Championship Game, beating Florida 28-21, en route to the national championship. Missouri is making its second appearance in only its third year in the league.
The Tide will be going for its 24th SEC Championship. (Tennessee is second with 13 and Georgia third with 12).
Bama won both SEC and national championships in 1992, 2009, and 2012. The other SEC Championship Game victory for the Tide was in 1999. The winner of the SEC title game has gone on to win the national championship 10 times. In addition to three by Bama, there have been three by Florida, two by LSU, and one each by Tennessee and Auburn. Alabama has won 15 national championships, including three in the last five years (2009, 2011, and 2012).
Alabama and Missouri will be playing for only the fifth time in history. Both teams have two wins, with the Tide having won the last two, both in Columbia, the latest in 2012 when Bama was a 42-10 winner.
Alabama Coach Nick Saban is in his 19th year as a head coach with a record of 176-58-1. In his eighth year at Bama he is 85-16 (84.2 per cent). Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel, who was a teammate and graduate assistant with Saban at Kent State, has been a college head coach for 24 years and has a record of 185-102-1. In his 14 years at Missouri he is 112-65 (63.3 per cent).
According to statistics provided by the SEC, the average winning margin has been 16.3 points.