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Missouri hears the outside chatter, but finds itself once again in the SEC title game.Picked to finish fourth in the SEC East this season, the Tigers (10-2, 7-1) will play top-ranked Alabama (11-1, 7-1) in the conference championship game Saturday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.“I think our players obviously know what’s going on and they watch TV,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “They hear things and I think certainly they’re competitors and they have a lot of pride in who they are. I think our players draw from that a little bit; the underdog and maybe not getting the respect that you want. I think that’s OK to a little bit, but honestly, we don’t talk about that as coaches with our players.”[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNLMxbOmHNY&w=560&h=315%5DSouth Carolina (6-6, 3-5) was favored to win the SEC East, but finished tied for fourth in the division with Tennessee. Georgia handed Missouri its only conference loss of the season, but lost at South Carolina and to Florida in Jacksonville.So Missouri emerged as the SEC East champion for a second straight season. The Tigers clinched the division with a 21-14 come-from-behind win Friday against Arkansas. Alabama edged the Razorbacks, 14-13, in Fayetteville.“We focus on ourselves playing well,” Pinkel continued. “That’s what we do. We don’t focus on where we play or who we play. Our whole focus is playing our best football. We don’t bring those things up. I don’t bring those things up, but certainly I don’t think there is any question about our players are certainly aware of what’s happening and kind of what’s out there.”Commentary: Is 2-loss SEC champ worthy of bid over 1-loss Big Ten?Missouri is 17th in the current College Football Playoff poll. With Mississippi State (4th), UCLA (8th), Georgia (9th), Arizona State (13th) and Auburn (15th) losing, the Tigers should move up in the playoff poll. Still, Missouri would have to make a sizable jump to enter the top four of the playoff poll. Missouri’s other loss was a 31-27 home defeat to Big Ten member Indiana (4-8, 1-7).Alabama is first in the playoff poll. The final one will be released next Sunday to reveal the four playoff teams. A win over the Crimson Tide would put Missouri in the thick of the playoff debate, but Pinkel wouldn’t jump in that scenario conversation.“Those things take care of themselves,” said Pinkel, whose Tigers finished 5-7 in their first SEC season in 2012, going 2-6 in conference play. “I don’t make predictions. We’re just doing what we do for the next game and focusing. We want to play well and whatever happens, happens.”Alabama was picked to win the SEC this season, but Missouri didn’t receive one vote to win the conference despite playing in the SEC title game last season in just its second year in the league.The Tigers lost 59-42 to Auburn.In the last two seasons, Alabama is 22-3 and Missouri is 22-4. Missouri is on a six-game winning streak while Alabama has won its last seven since losing 23-17 at Ole Miss.“I think they’re one of the best teams in our league, no doubt, and certainly very deserving of what they’ve accomplished,” said Alabama coach Nick Saban, a former college teammate of Pinkel’s at Kent State. Saban’s Tide beat Pinkel’s Tigers, 42-10, in Missouri’s first year in the SEC.