It's "Separation Saturday" in the SEC, so we're pretty fired up here on the SEC blog.
Matchups between Florida and LSU should be fantastic, and Georgia's trip to South Carolina might be the game of the year to this point.
Entering the weekend, I still own a two-game lead with a 48-3 (.941) record, while Chris sits with a 46-5 (.902) record after we both went 6-0 last week.
It feels good to have the lead, and I expect to extend it this weekend. I thought we'd have a couple of differences last week, but Chris was wiser than expected. This week, one of the big games has us split, so things should be interesting come Sunday morning.
Chris is the veteran, so I know that he still feels pretty confident about his picks going forward. And that's great. I love a challenge. And I'll admit that mistakes were made last year with my picks. His vast knowledge of all things SEC proved to be too much.
But things are different. I've gone through this league now and I see things clearer. I won't be like the Carolina Panthers or the U.S. Ryder Cup team. This time, I'll keep my lead.
Chris is right. No need to live in the past. All I see is a championship in my future.
On to the picks:
ARKANSAS AT AUBURN
Edward Aschoff: Both teams might not make it to a bowl game this year, but I have a feeling this one will be exciting. Two struggling defenses go at it, but Arkansas' will help Auburn's struggling offense look good. ... Auburn 30, Arkansas 27
Chris Low: Between them, Arkansas and Auburn are 0-4 this season in the SEC. The Tigers have had their own issues, but the Hogs have given up 179 points in their past four games. Bad defenses don’t get better overnight. ... Auburn 37, Arkansas 24
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT KENTUCKY
Edward Aschoff: The Bulldogs are refreshed coming off a bye, while the Wildcats are really hurting -- with injuries and their play. Mississippi State should feast on Kentucky's freshman quarterbacks. ... Mississippi State 38, Kentucky 10
Chris Low: Mississippi State’s unbeaten, but how good really are the Bulldogs? The schedule has been pretty cushy to this point. Coming off a bye, though, they shouldn’t have any trouble in the Bluegrass. ... Mississippi State 30, Kentucky 14
VANDERBILT AT MISSOURI
Edward Aschoff: Both offenses are struggling, but tweaks are coming for both units. Vanderbilt has the advantage of coming off a bye, but that quarterback controversy is too unsettling. ... Missouri 24, Vanderbilt 14
Chris Low: Missouri’s first two SEC games ended in 21-point losses. A Vanderbilt team struggling to score points is just what the doctor ordered for the Tigers in this battle of James Franklins. ... Missouri 24, Vanderbilt 17
TEXAS A&M AT OLE MISS
Edward Aschoff: Get ready for some points! Both teams enter with very fun offenses to watch, but the Rebels have to clean some things up on defense if they are truly going to stay in this shootout. Expect another big day from Johnny Manziel. ... Texas A&M 38, Ole Miss 27
Chris Low: If you like football played at warp speed, this is your game. Texas A&M and Ole Miss both want to run as many plays as possible on offense and leave the opposing defense gasping for air. The red-hot Manziel will see to it that the Aggies win their fourth in a row. ... Texas A&M 38, Ole Miss 24
LSU AT FLORIDA
Edward Aschoff: LSU hasn't looked great for the past two weeks, but this team has been much more focused heading into its showdown in the Swamp. The Gators are rested and healthy and have been on a roll. This one will come down to the fourth quarter, and that's where Florida has thrived. ... Florida 24, LSU 20
Chris Low: LSU’s last two performances have hardly been top-10 worthy, while Florida has already won two SEC games on the road. Both teams are physical, and both teams are excellent on defense. The Tigers, though, are due to break out and play their most complete game of the season. ... LSU 24, Florida 20
GEORGIA AT SOUTH CAROLINA
Edward Aschoff: It's hard to find a more exciting and more balanced offense than Georgia's. The Bulldogs are moving the ball better than any SEC school out there. But they haven't met a defensive front like South Carolina's. More pressure will come. And Marcus Lattimore has to be licking his chops after Georgia's last defensive outing. ... South Carolina 24, Georgia 21
Chris Low: South Carolina has never beaten Georgia three straight times. Then again, the Gamecocks hadn’t done a lot of things until the Head Ball Coach arrived. It won’t be as wild as last season’s shootout in Athens, but the Gamecocks will make enough big plays in the fourth quarter to outlast the Bulldogs. ... South Carolina 31, Georgia 28