A trap game can usually be explained as a game in which a team either is coming off a tough rival game or could be looking ahead to a tough rival game and overlooking the game at hand.
Here are the trap games for the SEC East in 2012:
Florida at Vanderbilt: October 13th
This date in Nashville for the Gators happens to fall in between LSU and South Carolina. Vanderbilt was arguably just as good as Florida last year, and this will prove to be a very tough road game. Florida has not lost in Nashville since 1988, winning 10 straight trips by an average of 20 points per game. Coming off a very tough game against LSU and setting their sights directly on South Carolina, who is expected to contend for an East title, Florida must get through Vanderbilt first. This one aligns at a great time for the Commodores to pitch an upset win. The Gators simply cannot just show up and get a win against a hungry and improving Vanderbilt team. This isn’t the 90’s anymore, and the Dores are crawling into relevancy.
Ole Miss vs. Georgia: November 3rd
Okay, I realize that Ole Miss has nowhere near the talent level of Georgia. The fact is, Georgia has a very easy draw, schedule-wise, this year. However, the fact that Ole Miss falls right in between a date with Florida and a road trip to Auburn, is a great time to catch the Bulldogs looking behind or ahead, even for the Rebs. Georgia will likely win this game fairly easy; however, there is always a chance, even though I’m not buying it. Georgia should win their 10th straight against the Rebs, if no letdown occurs.
Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky: September 15th
There will be very few games that Kentucky will be actually favored in, but one will be against in-state Western Kentucky. Last year, the Hilltoppers played the Cats very tough in a 14-3 loss, but Kentucky looked brutal in their first game, and it didn’t get much better throughout the season. This year, the Hilltoppers catch Kentucky coming off Kent State and before a trip to Gainesville to play Florida. This could prove to be another very tough game for Kentucky, and they will have to play better than last year to win this game.
Kentucky at Missouri: October 27th
Missouri is an overall better and more potent offensive team than the Wildcats. However, coming off a bye week, you can bet that Missouri will be preparing and game-planning more for an away game against Florida the following week, than a home game against Kentucky. And while Kentucky will scare no one, they will be better than last year (can’t be much worse!). The Wildcats could catch Mizzou looking ahead for their first trip to The Swamp the following week and get an upset win before the Tigers’ home crowd. Mizzou is currently 0-2 against Kentucky.
South Carolina at Kentucky: September 29th
This has a similar feel to the game in 2010, when SC will be favored but going on the road to Lexington. SC is 11-1 against Kentucky, but lost the aforementioned game at Commonwealth Stadium. The Gamecocks will be coming off a date with Missouri and could be already looking ahead to a clash with East-favorite Georgia. Georgia-SC game could very well decide the SEC East. I have a feeling Steve Spurrier will have his team ready to play, much like last year when his team put up 54 points in a blowout.
Tennessee at Mississippi State: October 13th
Tennessee fans have penciled this Mississippi State road game as a should-be win this year. But the funny thing is, all State fans think the same thing. Tennessee will be coming off the bye week to take on State, but they play arch-nemesis Alabama the very next week. First, however, Derek Dooley will have to get his club ready for a trip to Starkville. Not many teams play well there, and it’s a very tough place to play and get up for a game. This is almost a must-win game for Dooley and for his future at Tennessee. Overall, Tennessee has more talent, but State thinks it should win this game, too. This is an underrated game. I love it.
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss: November 10th
The Commodores will be favored in this football game. But let’s get one thing straight: there is nothing James Franklin wants to do more this year than to beat Tennessee. They had them on the cusp last year, and they let them get away. Tennessee falls the week after Ole Miss. Every Vanderbilt fan has Tennessee circled on the schedule. But first, the Dores will have to get through Ole Miss, which will prove to be no easy task. The Rebels could catch them at a very convenient time.