In a SEC championship game with more offense than we've ever seen before, the Auburn Tigers officially proved that they're worthy of a spot in the BCS National Championship game.
After a shootout through 60 minutes, the Auburn Tigers won 59-42 over the Missouri Tigers, making them the SEC champions. Nick Marshall did well in the passing game, completing nine of his 11 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown, but it was the running game that was the big story in this one.
As a team, the Tigers ran the ball 73 times for 544 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Tre Mason was easily the player of the game, going off for 303 yards and four touchdowns on 45 carries.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Mason broke the SEC championship rushing record midway through the third quarter.
Tre Mason: sets new SEC Championship game rushing record (230 yards mid-3rd qtr). Auburn record is 307 by Curtis Kuykendall in 1944— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 7, 2013
Auburn simply ran all over Missouri, and that display of offense showed this team could go toe-to-toe against the Florida State Seminoles more than any other team has this season.
With both Missouri and Alabama falling to Auburn, the only other contender to take the Tigers' spot in the national championship would be the Ohio State Buckeyes, and they have a very tough Big Ten championship game against the Michigan State.
The Buckeyes have only played one other team that's currently ranked in the top 25, and that was the Wisconsin Badgers. That game certainly could have been a more impressive win, as the Buckeyes won just 31-24.
On the other hand, the Tigers have been playing in the toughest conference in the nation, and they've beaten some of the best teams out there. Their one loss came against LSU, but they also have wins over Georgia, Alabama, Texas A&M and Ole Miss.
Who should play in the BCS National Championship against the Seminoles (assuming they win)?
The defense will be questioned after allowing Missouri to go off on Saturday. However, the defense ranked 30th in the country before that game, allowing just 22.5 points per game. Players like Dee Ford and Chris Davis have made this team so much fun to watch.
Assuming the Seminoles win against the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday night, they'll be the favorites against any team they play in the national championship. If it happens to be Auburn, their run defense, which is holding opponents to just 118.8 yards per game and 3.2 yards per carry, will be the key to victory.
However, the Seminoles haven't gone against an offense quite like this one, and they've made it clear they're worthy of that national title spot coming out of the SEC.
After going just 3-9 and 0-8 in the SEC in 2012, the Tigers have become a team of destiny.