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Fearless predictions: LSU-Mississippi State

Head coach Les Miles with Jarrett Lee #12

Head coach Les Miles with Jarrett Lee #12 of the LSU Tigers during play against the Oregon Ducks at Cowboys Stadium. (Sept. 3, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

A solid weekend of games gets started tonight with an intriguing SEC West showdown in Starkville between BCS national title contender LSU and Mississippi State, which is coming off a tough loss at Auburn last Saturday.

The atmosphere should be really good. Pete Thamel of the New York Times writes that Mississippi State canceled Thursday's classes months ago in anticipation of this huge night game.

No. 3 LSU at No. No. 25 Mississippi State (+3.5), 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Henry's pick: LSU enjoyed a nice neutral-site win against Oregon at Cowboys Stadium and then got an easy win in Baton Rouge against Northwestern State last Saturday. With the ever-efficient Jarrett Lee under center, the first real road game shouldn't matter, especially considering how bad Mississippi State's defense looked against Auburn. LSU 33, Mississippi State 22

Rose's pick: Before the season started, I had this game circled as a potential upset. But after two weeks of the season I have enough evidence to believe otherwise. First, LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee doesn't put up great stats, but the Tigers have confidence with Lee leading the way. You could see it in the Oregon game, Second, LSU's offensive and defensive lines really wore down the Ducks. Yes, Oregon's defense is undersized. LSU's ground game and defensive front will cause problems late in the game against the Bulldogs. Finally, Mississippi State's defense didn't look very good by allowing 41 points to Auburn. A close game, but LSU gets a big road win. LSU 27, Mississippi State 19

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