The term "trap game” in college football generally means look out for the upset; this game usually falls after a big game or before a significant game. Sometimes it can fall right in the middle of two important games, but one thing is for sure and that is every team has one. No matter how much we in the media try to warn the favorites in these games, the fact remains upsets still happen in college football. The biggest reason is the maturity of the players is not what it will be at the NFL level, and no matter how much the Coach preaches it falls on deaf ears. Great teams sometimes can get by a "trap game" without playing their best, but the fans may need a few Rolaids in the post-game.
Here is my list of possible trap games for all 14 SEC teams
Alabama – Sept. 28th vs. Ole Miss – The Crimson Tide don't have a lot of candidates for these games on the schedule but the Rebels could come in very hot after upsetting Texas. Alabama would be two weeks removed from the Game of the Century and have lost at home the last two years.
Arkansas – Sept. 21th at Rutgers – Bret Bielema will be looking to start 4-0 but their first road test is at Piscataway. With Texas A&M being the following week, his team might be looking ahead.
Auburn – Sept.7th vs. Arkansas State – Auburn Head CoachGus Malzahn will be match up against his former team that knows his system, and then throw in the fact that Auburn has a huge SEC opener on Sept. 14th vs. Mississippi State and you have the recipe for an upset.
Florida – Nov. 9th vs. Vanderbilt – The Gators have not lost to the Commodores since 1989 but this year the game is sandwiched between Georgia and South Carolina. This could potentially be the most important three week stretch of the Will Muschamp Era.
Georgia – Oct. 19that Vanderbilt –The dogs have a tough first month but should be fine after that. The Dores nearly beat them two years ago in Nashville and there is no love lost between James Franklin and Dogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.
Kentucky – Aug. 31st vs. Western Kentucky – There is so much excitement around the Wildcat program; you have to wonder if the players remember they lost to the Hilltoppers last season? This year they have Bobby Petrino who can flat out coach. The pressure on Stoops to win makes this season opener a “trap game”.
LSU – Oct. 5th at Mississippi State – The Tigers have to go on the road between two huge games versus Georgia and Florida. If they beat the Bulldogs in Athens that certainly makes this a prime game for an upset, if not it will be a tough one. Mullen's team has played Miles tough twice in Starkville.
Missouri – Nov. 9th at Kentucky – The Tigers will be coming off a difficult home stand against Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Last year November was not one to remember and they must grab this road win if they are going to a bowl game.
Ole Miss – Oct. 5th at Auburn – The Rebels have a four week stretch with at Texas, an open date then at Alabama and finally at Auburn. Will Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze have anything left for an important road game on the plains?
Mississippi State – Sept.14th at Auburn – If the Bulldogs win its opener versus a good Oklahoma State team they will be the favorites at Auburn. I know it’s the season opener so it’s hard to be a trap game but keep an eye on this game as a springboard for the winner.
South Carolina – Oct. 12th at Arkansas – The Gamecocks have a very spread out schedule, but this trip to Fayetteville could be dicey. Spurrier has had his trouble there and they could be 5-0 and a top five team headed to Bret Bielema’s house.
Tennessee – Nov. 2nd at Missouri – Historically the Volunteers have been good in November and Butch Jones hopes to recapture that mojo. The game comes after a two week stretch of South Carolina and at Alabama. This could be a must win game for a bowl.
Texas A&M – Oct. 12th at Ole Miss – The Aggies have a nicely spaced out schedule and if they can upset Alabama they may have a long run at number one. However they should have lost last year in Oxford and trailed by 10 in the 4th quarter. The Aggies will have an open date to get ready but trust me consecutive trips to Oxford is no easy task.
Vanderbilt – Nov. 16th vs. Kentucky – This is a home game sandwiched between Florida and Tennessee. The Commodores could be thinking rivalry game or celebrating a monumental win over the Gators. Either way, the Wildcats are in a good position.
This and That…
I guess it’s a sign that Vanderbilt has arrived on the scene of college football with the dismissal of four players. It also goes to show you that no program is immune from trouble and no coach can prevent all of it. James Franklin runs a tight ship and this will be a hurdle for his program, but the Dores have enough equity to give them a pass and still see them in a very positive light.
Texas A&M also has some trouble and it’s not Johnny Football. Deshazor Everett is a guy I believe had a chance to really have an All-American season at corner for the Aggies. He and safety Floyd Raven have been suspended from team activities. These are valuable losses when you consider game two is against the defending national champion Alabama.
Summer seems to be the time of bad news but let’s get excited about July 16-18th at Hoover, Alabama and the SEC Media Days. Coaches and players will convene along with 1,000+ media members. There will be no shortage of topics and while Alabama is lock to be voted as West Champions it could be interesting in the East. I think the East has gotten better and the big three of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida could all win the division. It will also be interesting to see Tennessee under Butch Jones and Missouri with their second chance at Big Boy Football.