Three SEC West teams continue their title hopes in 2013. Alabama is going for a three-peat, while Texas A&M and LSU try to slow the Bama train down. Meanwhile, up-and-comer Ole Miss could be a dark horse in the SEC West. Auburn and Arkansas both try and get back on track, while MSU looks to take their game to the next level.
But year-in and year-out, teams have to survive the inevitable ‘trap game’. Trap games come in many shapes and sizes, and trap games insinuate tougher games fall ahead on the schedule. And the fear of a letdown keeps coaches awake at night.
Here are the SEC West’s biggest trap games in 2013:
Trap Game: Virginia Tech, August 31st
Skinny: Alabama has the most favorable schedule in the SEC in terms of pure power teams. The two that stick out are obviously Texas A&M and LSU. The Tide will be favored by two touchdowns or more in every other game. But Virginia Tech and Ole Miss stand out to me. The Hokies usually have talent, and they have one of the top QBs returning in Logan Thomas. Theoretically, VT could sneak their way into a game. Although I don’t expect it to happen, should Bama get caught up in dynasty or Texas A&M talks, Tech could surprise.
Trap Game: Louisiana-Lafayette, August 31st
Skinny: Unlike Alabama, Arkansas has a ruthless schedule. But don’t look down the road and overlook the first game of the year against the SEC-killer Sunbelt Conference. If not for a blocked kick and a two-minute collapse, ULL beats Florida last season. Let’s face it, this Arkansas roster isn’t good enough to sleepwalk through any game, especially ULL.
Trap Game: at Tennessee, November 9th
Skinny: From top to bottom, Auburn’s roster wins against Tennessee’s. But a trip to Neyland Stadium late in the season before the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry could be tricky. Who knows what kind of record Tennessee will have late in the season, but this is a winnable game for Auburn.
Trap Game: at Mississippi State, October 5th
Skinny: LSU and MSU always put on a good show. It’s usually a tough, physical SEC football game, and trips to Starkville are no joke. Couple that with the fact that this game is sandwiched between games against Florida and Georgia. That’s a nasty little three-game stretch, but it’s only scratching the surface of the Tigers’ over brutal schedule.
Trap Game: Bowling Green, October 12th
Skinny: Bowling Green is no joke. They return 18 starters off last year’s club that nearly upset Florida to start the year. MSU gets Bowling Green coming off the LSU game right before the bye week. Don’t sleep on the Falcons.
Trap Game: Troy, November 16th
Skinny: Sandwiched between two SEC games in Arkansas and Missouri is poor ole Troy. But Troy gave Mississippi State and Tennessee a run for their money just last season, losing both games by an average of 6.5 points. Ole Miss should thump Troy, but they always have some athletes who make plays.
Trap Game: at Ole Miss, October 12th
Skinny: The Aggies face the Rebels coming off a bye week. That’s the good news. Remember, last year Ole Miss took Texas A&M down to the wire, and if not for a fourth quarter collapse, the Rebels would have stolen one from Johnny Manziel and company. And for the second straight year, the Aggies travel to Oxford. Lookout.
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