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Mark Edwards’ picks: Auburn should win LSU showdown; Tide will sail again

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BRANSON MO NEWS: In a rivalry created pretty much by the Southeastern Conference’s split into divisions in 1992, Auburn and LSU has turned into one of the league’s best.In the past 14 meetings, nine have been decided by a touchdown or less.Lately, Auburn has thrived at home in the series. The last Tigers’ home loss to LSU came in 2012 when the bottom fell out on Gene Chizik. Before that, LSU won in 2008.

It’s hard to imagine that the 12th-ranked Bengal Tigers (2-0) will knock off seventh-ranked Auburn (2-0) at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. New LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, a grad transfer from Ohio State, has won praise from his team’s fans, but he’s 92nd nationally in passing efficiency. … Auburn 27, LSU 17.No. 1 Alabama (2-0) at Ole Miss (2-0): This one matches two great quarterbacks from Hawaii — Alabama sophomore Tua Tagovailoa and Ole Miss senior Jordan Ta’amu, who took the Rebels’ starting job with five games to go last year, when Shea Patterson got hurt. Before that, Ta’amu played junior college ball at New Mexico Military.Tagovailoa and Ta’amu didn’t match up in any Hawaii high school state playoff game. Tagovailoa led Saint Louis School to runner-up in Division I in 2015 and a state title in the Open Division in 2016.Ta’amu quarterbacked Pearl City High School to the six-team Division II playoffs in 2013 and 2014 where they lost in the first round both times.So far this year, they’re both shining. Tagovailoa is second nationally to Toledo junior Mitch Guadagni in passing efficiency, while Ta’amu is seventh.For what it’s worth, Central Florida’s McKenzie Milton quarterbacked Hawaii’s Mililani High School to a Division I state title in 2014 before losing to Tagovailoa and Saint Louis in the 2015 semifinals. Meanwhile, Hawaii’s starting quarterback is Cole McDonald, who came from a California high school. … Alabama 52, Ole Miss 17.Vanderbilt (2-0) …



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