JOHN L. PITTS: Which Tigers will rule?




Everyone seems to be talking about what happens to the national championship game after Auburn wins the SEC Championship.

Not so fast. I’m not convinced that Auburn gets past Missouri on Saturday.

Auburn seems to have all the momentum after that stunning Iron Bowl victory over Alabama, but this is college athletics we’re talking about. How often have we seen a huge, stunning victory – and a week of kids hearing how good they are – followed by a deflating loss?

It’s easy to downplay Missouri’s rise, perhaps because the school has only been in the SEC for two seasons, or because of its reputation – most prominently in men’s basketball – for coming up small at big moments.

And Auburn’s stunning turnaround is a great story, all the more compelling after last-second wins over Georgia and Alabama.

But Mizzou enters championship week with that thing you’d most like to have when a title is on the line – a great defense.

Alabama gave up 42 points to Texas A&M and Auburn gave up 41. Missouri? The Aggies only scored 21 while the Tigers made Johnny Football look like Johnny Ordinary.

If Missouri wins on Saturday, that pack of Tigers will have a good case for playing for the national title. Their only loss, in double overtime against South Carolina, came while regular quarterback James Franklin was hurt.

To get us to a Florida State-Missouri title game, unbeaten Ohio State needs to lose the Big Ten title game on Saturday to Michigan State – another great defensive team.

Maybe it’s because I like the movie “300,” but I’ll be pulling for the Spartans.

Random thoughts

• On the police scanner, a woman said a guy named “Kool-Aid” took her money. I’m guessing he broke through a brick wall, took her money and then yelled, “Oh, yeah!”

• If I was a Cat Whisperer, here is what I would whisper: “Stop pooping on the upstairs landing.”

• Attendance at Sunday’s NFL Falcons-Bills game in Toronto was 38,969. That’s 58,000 in American fans.

• New nickname for the Washington Redskins quarterback, Robert Griffin III: RG3 … and 9.

John L. Pitts ( is sports editor of the Daily Journal. He shares more random thoughts on Twitter at @johnlpitts

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