SEC Championship pregame: No. 3 Auburn vs. No. 5 Missouri

ATLANTA – We are live from the Georgia Dome for the 2013 SEC Championship game between No. 3 Auburn (11-1, 7-1 SEC) and No. 5 Missouri (11-1, 7-1). The game kicks off at 3 p.m. CT on CBS with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson on the call.

Here’s a preview of today’s game, an improbable meeting of teams with losing records a year ago. The winner could be playing for a shot in the BCS National Championship, should No. 1 Florida State or No. 2 Ohio State lose later tonight.

As always, follow me on Twitter: @JamesCrepea for live updates.

Pregame observations and lineup changes:

  • Bowl reps from every SEC affiliate bowl and all four BCS bowls are in attendance

Pregame notes:

  • Auburn has posted the biggest turnaround in the country this season and in all of SEC history.
  • This is Auburn’s fifth SEC Championship game appearance (1997, 2000, 2004, 2010) with wins in the last two.
  • Missouri is playing in the SEC Championship game in just its second year in the conference. Mizzou has not won a conference title since 1969 and not outright since 1960..
  • Auburn and Missouri have played just once before, a 34-17 Missouri win in the 1973 Sun Bowl.
  • Auburn has the No. 5 rush offense in the country (318.3 yards) and Missouri has the No. 14 rush defense (119.1). AU is the only team in the nation with four 500+ yard rushers.
  • Gus Malzahn is attempting to become the third coach in SEC history to win an SEC title in his first year at a school.
  • Gary Pinkel is attempting to become the program’s all-time winningest coach. He is 101-62.
  • A win would give Missouri just its second ever 12-win season.
  • Auburn is 5-4 all-time at the Georgia Dome, last losing 26-19 to Clemson to open the 2012 season.
  • The Tigers have won 87 straight games when scoring 30 or more points and have scored 30-plus in seven straight games for the first time since 2004.
  • Tre Mason leads the SEC with 1,317 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns.
  • The Tigers have had a 100-yard rusher in ten games, a pair of 100-yard rushers in three games, and have not been held under 120 yards all season.
  • The Tigers have scored on their opening drive in 7 of 11 games this season.
  • Auburn is 6-0 in games decided by eight points or less this season.
  • Auburn is 298-231-18 all-time in SEC play.
  • Auburn is 19-23-2 all-time in December.
  • Auburn is 99-141-6 all-time against ranked teams, including 78-117-5 against ranked SEC foes.
  • Auburn is 4-3-1 all-time in meetings of top-five teams and unbeaten in the last five dating back to 1983.