Well, Alabama won again. Raise your hand if you didn’t see that one coming. Final score: No. 1 ranked Alabama 42, Missouri 13. I’ll be back shortly with a full column on the game. Until then, here are my three “Short Takes”:
1. Blake Sims — the QB you didn’t see coming: Nothing against Blake Sims, the former Gainesville (Ga.) High School star who picked Alabama over a number of other schools in 2010, including Georgia (though the Bulldogs reportedly didn’t put on a full-court press until after he verbally committed to the Tide). But few would’ve projected this level of success. He was named MVP of the game. Georgia recruited him as an “athlete,” a generic designation for players they haven’t assigned a position to yet, and even Alabama shuttled him between running back and backup quarterback before this season. But Sims won the starting QB job this season and has steadily improved all season in Lane Kiffin’s offense. Sims completed 15 of 17 passes in the first half for 160 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown to DeAndrew White. He finished 23 for 27 for 262 and 2 TDs.
2. The West is best … again: Before you bang on Missouri too much, understand this: The Tigers are merely continuing what has been a bad trend for SEC East teams. The East champion beat the West in 11 of the first 17 conference championship games through 2008 (seven wins by Florida, two each by Georgia and Tennessee). But the West now won six straight SEC titles (Alabama 3, Auburn 2 and LSU 1). Anybody watching this season knew the power was in the West and that the East was mediocre. So call this mere punctuation. Also, a note for Georgia fans: The Bulldogs play two West teams next season: home against Alabama (Oct. 3) and at Auburn (Nov. 14).
3. Look out in the NFL draft for…Jimmy Hunt? Missouri senior wide receiver Jimmy Hunt had been considered only a marginal NFL draft prospect before Saturday. But if Saturday’s game and recent performances are any indication, he’s legit. He was Missouri’s big play threat, with a 32-yard catch to set up a field goal, a 63-yarder to catch up a touchdown and a 47-yarder to set up a field goal. He finished with six catches for 169 yards, a high for either team. Hunt is only 6-foot, 205, but he showed an ability to adjust and get open when Missouri QB Maty Mauk scrambled away from the pass rush. Hunt ranked only second on Missouri in receptions with 34 in the regular season but he had 13 for 252 and two scores in the three games before Saturday.
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Georgia Tech ends Florida State’s run — AJC: New rankings make college football playoff look like set up — MyAJC: Rare situation: Eyes are off Bulldogs and on Jackets — MyAJC: Tech’s Bobinski finally stops stalling with Johnson — AJC: Georgia Tech finally offers Johnson contract extension — MyAJC: Finally, a real football team named Falcons shows up — AJC: Falcons’ short takes: Devin Hester says officials admitted mistake — MyAJC: This Georgia season was just another big tease — AJC: Georgia ‘short takes’ on loss to Georgia Tech — MyAJC: As Georgia loses SEC title shot, Tech suddenly has higher ceiling — AJC: Missouri wins SEC East — will it affect Georgia? — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs win, Falcons lose, toys devolve — AJC: Tech’s Johnson long overdue for contract extension — MyAJC: Tech’s season a loud response for Johnson’s critics — AJC: First-ballot thoughts: Smoltz should join Maddux, Glavine — AJC: Georgia vs. Georgia Tech: Which team has had better season? — MyAJC: Gurley’s injury should prompt change in NFL draft rule — AJC: Weekend Predictions: The straight poop–Georgia wins SEC East, Falcons lose — AJC: Is Braves’ pursuit of Lester realistic? — AJC: Braves trade Jason Heyward and John Hart just took huge risk — MyAJC: It makes no sense but Falcons are in first — AJC: Short takes on Falcons’ win over Panthers — MyAJC: Dogs have a statement win, now hope for best with Gurley — AJC: Short takes on Georgia’s win and Gurley — MyAJC: As hoops open, Tech looks far more ready than Georgia