The 22nd annual SEC Championship game features two very unlikely opponents in Atlanta: The East champion Missouri Tigers (11-1, 7-1) against the West champion Auburn Tigers (11-1, 7-1).
Both were coming off a poor season in 2012 particularly Auburn which posted a 3-9 record forcing former HC Gene Chizik out after four years on the job and just two years after winning the BCS National title game.
Missouri, in only its second season in the SEC, was not expected to win the division with established programs such as back-to-back East champion Georgia, defending co-East champ Florida and Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks in the way but Missouri managed to beat both Georgia and Florida and came close to beating South Carolina.
Meanwhile Auburn punched its ticket to Atlanta on what is probably the most unlikely play in football history on a missed field goal return against Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide dynasty.
Missouri HC Gary Pinkel has done a fine job since he arrived 14 years ago with nine bowl appearances, two Big-12 North titles and four bowl victories.
Auburn will be making its fifth SEC title game appearance (1997, 2000, 2004, 2010, 2013) . The Tigers won in 2004 and 2010. The 2004 team went on to win the BCS Sugar Bowl and an undefeated season under Tommy Tuberville and the 2010 team went on to the BCS National Title game.
Missouri will be making its third conference title game appearance (2007, 2008, 2013) but its first SEC title game.