The SEC’s top five “Trap Games”

 

Everybody can look at a team’s schedule and pick out the tough games. But can you recognize the “Trap Games?”  Those are games that may not look difficult on the surface, but when combined with travel, the opponent the previous week, or some other factors, it becomes a game where the favored teams could trip up.

After looking through the SEC schedules, here are my recommendations for the Top five “Trap Games” for 2009. If you have some you think are better, feel free to share them:

 

1. Arkansas at Florida, Oct. 17: The Gators will be coming off a monster game at LSU the week before. If Florida wins the Gators will be 5-0 and still ranked No. 1. But they will also be pretty beat up after a very physical football game. If the game was in Fayetteville it would be extremely dangerous for Florida. But who thought Ole Miss was going to win The Swamp last year?

2. Tennessee at Alabama, Oct. 24: Under normal circumstances this would probably be a comfortable win for the Crimson Tide. But Alabama has the big showdown at Ole Miss on Oct. 10. Then the Tide hosts South Carolina on Oct. 17. Alabama will get a week off on Oct. 31 in order to rest up for the big home game with LSU on Nov. 7. But before that week off they host Tennessee. The Alabama players will be looking forward to that week off after playing eight straight Saturdays. Tennessee will be rested after a week off and Lane Kiffin will probably still be looking for his first big win. What better way to get it than to beat one of your oldest rivals?

3. Georgia at Arkansas, Sept. 19: Georgia will open the season with a difficult game at No. 11 Oklahoma State. Then they come home for what is always a tough game against South Carolina on Sept. 12. Then the Bulldogs have to get on a plane and go to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Hogs’ SEC opener. Arkansas will have had the previous week off to rest up. This is a dangerous game for Georgia.

4. LSU at Georgia, Oct. 3: This is not a trap game in the classic sense because it is a pretty even matchup and Georgia is playing a home. But it is a game where LSU could be clearly looking ahead when they get to Athens. LSU should be 4-0 and ranked in the top seven.   And if Georgia stumbles a little out of the gate, it could be a game that the Bulldogs HAVE to win. Still, a lot of the talk that week in Baton Rouge will be about LSU’s home game with No. 1 Florida the following week. It’s silly to say that LSU will look past Georgia. But when you’re getting ready to play the defending national champs, it can sometimes be hard to keep your focus on the job at hand.

5. Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, Oct. 3:  Vanderbilt knocked off Ole Miss 23-17 last season in Oxford. Vanderbilt returns 18 starters and is expected to be better this season. Ole Miss will go to Nashville the week before they host Alabama, which could be the biggest game in Oxford since Eli Manning’s last home game against LSU in 2003. The Rebels, who aren’t used to playing in such big games, could be easily distracted.

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189 comments Add your comment

funnymoneyisanidiot

August 12th, 2009
9:25 am

GT – one win in 8 years
UGA – 7 wins in 8 years

GT – 0 ACC titles this decade
UGA – 2 SEC titles this decade

Otto

August 12th, 2009
9:26 am

Tenn. is not a trap game for Bama. The Vols will be worse than expected. Saban will not be looking past the Vols after everything the Lame Duck coach has said.

UGA ar Arkansas does not setup well for UGA. UGA is on their 2nd long road trips in 3 weeks. Arkansas is coming off a bye week with just a warm up game before that.

Miles

August 12th, 2009
9:26 am

Arkansas @ Florida…huge game! HUGE!

T

August 12th, 2009
9:27 am

Joe.. 1991 ???.. LOL.. are you kidding me?? You have to go that far back to crow about something?? LOL.. I bet you are one of those with the 1980 National Champs tag on the front of your truck too… LOL…

Flordia has OWNED Georgia for two decades… two decades… Georgia will never be better than you have seen.. Richt is simply not a top tier coach.. I know its hard to take… but you have all the data you need.. Florida has won 2 MNC in the past 3 years.. Georgia??? 1980 and fans pointing to success as far back as 1991… LOL.. unbelievable..

Chris F

August 12th, 2009
9:29 am

Brew do you really believe that crap you bent over and spewed out your a$$? You’ve been tippin’ some homemade brew. Tennessee has NEVER dominated Alabama! Tennessee used to be very competitive but you are now on a downhill slope with no return in sight. Fulmer didn’t let Alabama come back in the series, they came back in spite of him.

Tony, I really have to disagree on about 3 of your 5 picks as trap games. Bama will destrot UT and Arkansas has no chance of even compeing with Florida or GA.

M, I don’t even know what to say to you….You are just dumber than dirt!

Otto

August 12th, 2009
9:31 am

Vandy lost to Duke the week after UGA and the week before UF. Vandy turns around after some time off and downs Boston College. It just proves my point yesterday of a brutal SEC schedule.

Dawgaholic idiot

August 12th, 2009
9:35 am

Will Mark Richt leave for Miami after a bad year?

funnymoneyisanidiot

August 12th, 2009
9:37 am

SEC4life – Ok St doesn’t have that beast of a TE anymore. Not to say they didn’t reload with someone else but I know the threat you are thinking of, Pettigrew I think was his name.
Hopefully that will reduce the offensive force

Tide4u2c

August 12th, 2009
9:38 am

I just can’t see Alabama overlooking Tennessee.Alabama would have to have some serious injuries to lose that game.Tennessee is not going to have a strong team and then add in a new coaching staff with 1st year growing pains on top of it.Oh don’t get me wrong, Tennessee would love to beat Alabama but it ain’t gonna happen.Tennessee is not as in as bad of shape as Auburn but it is still pretty bad.

Chris F

August 12th, 2009
9:38 am

Richt wont leave because he is OK being competetive. He doesn’t care about dominance. He wont get fired either, he’s kinda GA’s Alumni darling.

Ramblinwreck1378

August 12th, 2009
9:41 am

Here are some more legitimate collegiate rankings.

Georgia Tech – #35
Georgia – #58

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/college/national-search/page+2

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/college/national-search/page+3

I’m sure even you dawgs aren’t stupid enough to argue that Georgia is even in the same league as Georgia Tech when it comes to academics. But then again, neither are they on the football field, the basketball court, the baseball field…

Good lord

August 12th, 2009
9:43 am

Tony, your writing is PREDICTABLE. It goes like this

[Statement]. But [contradicting statement]. Learn not to start every other sentence with “but” and I’m sure you’ll rise above the third tier of writing.

Chris F

August 12th, 2009
9:43 am

Brew you are bringing up a whole decade plus 2 years. You seem to forget that Bama was severely handicapped with sanctions and heavy scholarship losses when TN “dominated” them. You will never “dominate” Bama again mark my word. If that is UT’s biggest claim to fame then OMG you really are pathetic.Last year fulmer was still there and saban brought alabama up regardless.

Will

August 12th, 2009
9:48 am

Good blog Big Tone, I agree with your assessments. But I think a great UGA defense will help us squeak by Arkansas to make us 2-1 or 3-0. But let me say this, after that game I look for our offense to really click on all cylinders and for UGA to go on a big-time run. One that could possibly lead to a victory in the Tebow Bowl. All of these UGA haters need to understand something, this UGA team is going to be nasty and definitely someone you do not want to play. On defense we will have fresh LB’s every other play to punch you in the mouth. We will also have some of the most ferocious hitters in the secondary led by Sanders Commings and Bacarri Rambo. Up front we will be super nasty with the big 3 and my boy Marcus Washington coming off the edge. Tony, who in the SEC who is not named The Gayturds has a better lineup than that? Damn right, nobody!

Brew

August 12th, 2009
9:50 am

Chris, first you say we never dominated you, then in another post you have to concede that we did. Thanks for coming around.

Bamafan

August 12th, 2009
9:50 am

Alabama fans will NOT let bama’s football players forget the game with the vols one new york minute
after boy blunder ran his big mouth. ROLL TIDE FOLKS!!

JWalker

August 12th, 2009
9:52 am

South Carolina vs. Alabama is a trap game. The week after Bama has the big showdown at Ole Miss and the week before Lane Kiffin shows up on the schedule for the first time. SCarolina could spring the upset there.

David

August 12th, 2009
9:53 am

Tony, do me a favor. Try to write like your not a bulldog fan. You know and I know Ga beats them at Arkansas. The record bears that out. It is tough trying to prove you are not a Ga homer isn’t it? You and Matt Stewart share notes don’t you? At least he doesn’t try to fake it.

Chris F

August 12th, 2009
9:56 am

Brew you didn’t notice the ” ” around dominated? There was nothing to dominate alabama was almost non-existant.

GT Alum

August 12th, 2009
9:56 am

Which of the Kentucky and Mississippi State games are “trap” games, Tony? Might as well include some of those if you’re including Vandy, Arkansas, or even Tennessee for that matter.

Tide4u2c

August 12th, 2009
9:58 am

Brew Alabama is no longer on probation with scholorship reductions.This is a new Bama team that is finally loaded with talent and alot more depth than them days you were happy about.Your idea of beating Alabama with one arm tied behind its back are over.It was a rough bumpy ride and we paid paid for it but that is behind us now.

Chris F

August 12th, 2009
9:59 am

JWalker I have said from the beginning if anyone was a trap for Bama it would be SC. UT doesn’t stand a chance.

Got 12?

August 12th, 2009
10:00 am

JWalker,

You are right about USC being a trap game for Bama. That game is also Bama’s homecoming game.

armchair

August 12th, 2009
10:03 am

Good grief; Mr. Barnhart is about as astute as a sack of rocks. To write that the UT-Bama game is a “trap” game is one of the dumbest points I’ve read on a sports blog in a long time. Mr. College Football indeed. Tennessee v. Alabama game is one of the biggest rivalries in the country, and so it is NEVER a trap game. Preposterous. Bama plays South Carolina before the Tennessee game, then gets a WEEK OFF before LSU. That is about as far from being a trap game as any game could be. Please.

Beyond this, there are no REAL trap games when SEC teams are playing one another–they are all tough, every week, and everybody know that.

Chris F

August 12th, 2009
10:04 am

brew, not only did we lose scholarships it gets worse. were banned from bowl appearances also. kinda hard to get up and play with little talent and nothing to look forward to. if you were a high school player and you had 3 or 4 teams wanting you and one of those was alabama during their sanctions most likely you wouldn’t even consider it. they lost more than just scholarships, they also lost players desire to play for them.

Got 12?

August 12th, 2009
10:08 am

Phat Phil was/is a POS (and I don’t mean “Point of Sale”). After losing a bidding war with Bama boosters for Albert Means, he became a double-top-secret, undercover witness for the NCAA against Bama in exchange for immunity. The ensuing probation allowed Phil to “dominate” Bama. (Nevermind the fact that everyone “dominated” Bama during that period.)

Got 12?

August 12th, 2009
10:12 am

Chris F,

We also lost potential coaches for the same reason. That’s how we ended up with Mike Shula. Shula did the best he could but he should not have been in that position.

Jim morrison

August 12th, 2009
10:15 am

Every game is a trap game.

The bottom line is to prepare and not lose focus of the goals.

Win the SEC should be the 1st goal.

Enough Said!

SimpleDawg

August 12th, 2009
10:17 am

Everyone had better be aware of R Can Saw this year….Bobby Putrid hasn’t had time to pi$$ off all of his players yet, and he is a very good offensive coach….heck he’s just plain ol’ offensive, period. They are a very dangerous team. They will be inconsistent, but don’t catch them on one of their good days.

The Warrior Chickens will be a tough out early in the season, until their lack of quality depth catches up with them.

The Dawgs will surprise….even with all of the talk about how surprising they will be.

Bamma vs. Va.Tech will be a big indicator of what each team has…or doesn’t have.

Rocky Top will crumble….should be a great year for the Vowel haters. Daddy Kiffin will have to continually wipe Lil’ Lane’s nose…bloody nose.

Ole Miss will be the most talked about team each week because you could make a case for a win or a loss every time they take the field.

Should be a lot of fun…..except for Miss. State.

SEC4Life

August 12th, 2009
10:18 am

@ Funnymoney – You’re right, Pettigrew is the WR I was thinking about.

UGA’s schedule (just my OPINION, not stating it as a fact)

Wk 1 OSU – Too close too call
Wk 2 SC – W (but barely)
Wk 3 Ark – Not sure
Wk 4 ASU – W
Wk 5 LSU – LSU’s QB play could be key
Wk 6 Tenn – W (Kiffin’s putting waaaay too much pressure on the Vols)
Wk 7 Vandy – I give the nod to UGA, but I wouldn’t rule Vandy out. Vandy usually plays UGA the same way SC does.
Wk 8 UF – Please
Wk 9 Tenn Tech – W
Wk 10 Auburn – W
Wk 11 Kentucky – W; Just checked and saw UK has 4 Freshman QBs
Wk 12 GT – Hopefully (after 12mos.)WM will have figured out how to combat the option. GT’s passing game is atrocious, so if you contain the option you essentially contain the Jackets.

Dawg Props

August 12th, 2009
10:20 am

The dawgs will beat Arkansas easy—I’m not worried about that game at all. UGA has twice the talent and better coaches. The only 2 games I’m worried about are Florida and LSU. The rest of the games should be pretty comfortable wins for the Dawgs—best D and oline in the SEC baby!!!

KNelson

August 12th, 2009
10:21 am

Anyone who looks past UT is a fool ! They may not have an offense yet, but the defense will be top 5 in the nation. Georgia couldnt score in the Spring game much less will they throw points on UT. Only a true optimist thinks UT could beat UF this year but the rest of the SEC will have their hands full!

Tide4u2c

August 12th, 2009
10:34 am

No team should be over-looked but KNelson how is the vols going to have a top 5 defense with a 1st year coaching staff?You think the vol players have picked up a totally new defense this soon?Being a Bama fan I can say our players still have’nt grasped all of Saban’s defense yet.And yet the Tennessee head coach runs his mouth knowing he should be warning Vol fans about the problems tennessee faces so that vol fans won’t have too high of expectations in his first year.

elcubismo

August 12th, 2009
10:34 am

Clemson fans laugh when SEC fans say South Carolina is always tough. One thing we know is that South Carolina is not tough, because another thing we know is that Clemson is not tough.

But hopefully Dabo and Steele will make us tougher.

NW

August 12th, 2009
10:35 am

M – Are you aware of Mark Richt’s record against non SEC opponents? Maybe you’d like to familiarize yourself with Florida’s? Or LSU’s perhaps? Just not sure which SEC teams you’re lumping into that erroneous statement you made.

southgadawg88

August 12th, 2009
10:37 am

I am more concerned with Tenn and Aub than anybody else.These are not trap games but games against rival teams where we may be caught napping.

Tide Rising

August 12th, 2009
10:37 am

Jwalker,

You probably had the most astute observation as far as trap games goes. South Carolina is definitely Bama’s trap game. Its in between 2 huge games, we don’t regard Carolina as a big rival, and strange as it is Bama tends to lose focus and not dominate at home.

Look at our biggest wins last year and every one of them was on the road except Auburn. Look at the games where we got lazy and complacent (ole miss, uk, tulane) and you’ll see that they were all home games and games in which we were favored by decent margins. Carolina game definitely scares me.

unemployed

August 12th, 2009
10:37 am

The SEC is loaded this year, every weekend a good game to watch.

Brew

August 12th, 2009
10:38 am

So, when Fulmer went 10-2 you guys were on probation for all 12 yrs? Really? I know probation is just a fact of life for the Tahd, but you had time off for a little while right? Get your panties out of the wad. My point was how bad for us that Tony (wrongly) asserted that we’re a trap game for you guys even with such a great rivalry.
Also, don’t use Lane as a crutch to get excited. Most Bamer fans hate us second behind the Barners, and we’re moving up fast and that’s all it takes. It’s not a trap game. It wasn’t a trap game for us when Fulmer was rolling you…most were close.

Tide Rising

August 12th, 2009
10:44 am

Brew,

Fulmer did very well against Bama. Maybe you can convince the UT people to hire him back on that sole criteria. He will find that beating an Alabama team that’s at full strength with some coaching stability as opposed to the coaching carousel we went through in the 2000s is a whole different deal. He’ll find that beating someone who is not playing with half a deck as far as schollys is a little harder to do also.

Fulmer also beat UGA 9 in a row under. Different story beating the dogs with Richt isn’t it?

Gatorzone

August 12th, 2009
10:48 am

Zizzle, great point! I HATE what Putrido did to the Falcons! I hope Every team this year embarrasses his arrogant a$$!

shannon1776

August 12th, 2009
10:51 am

Way to give us insight we couldn’t develop on our own!!! Gee wiz. TB, let me give you a clue: We already KNOW going to Ark will be tough. You say nthat game looks easy on the surface?? If YOU think it does, you need to step down and take retirement now.

Tune in next week when Tony tells us the Florida game will be a tough one for UGA!!!!

GT Alum

August 12th, 2009
10:53 am

Come on now, SEC fans, every game is a trap game? You don’t really believe that nonesense, do you? The only thing that can’t be debated is that the SEC puts out 2-3 of the best teams in college football, year in and year out. But its parity is dropping like a rock every year…

Trade School Junkie

August 12th, 2009
10:53 am

GA most likely losses will be:

1. OKST: This one’s a SLAM-DUNK. OKST is gonna crush the dawgs.

2. Ark: Hell, even UGA homer Barnhart is worried about this game.

And to put that fact in perspective, in 2008 Barnhart predicted GA would beat BOTH Bama AND FL. Even after the Bama “funeral,” Barnhart STILL predicted GA would beat Florida. What a joke.

If UGA-homer Barnhart couldnt see the Bama & FL beatdowns coming, then you can go ahead and mark down any GA “trap game” as an iron-clad loss.

Petrino is a much better gameday coach & OC than Richt or Bobo. Even with the lesser talent level Petrino has now, Ark will win this game. I expect more of an Offensive shoot-out in this one. I think Ark has the edge, if for no other reason than GA has Martinez as DC. A Martinez-led D is at a decided disadvantage agaisnt a Petrino-led Offense.

FL:
While nothing is 100%, this one’s as close to a 100% lock as you can find for another loss.

LSU or Tenn:
GA will likely drop one of these. Maybe not both.
As I have stated before, Tenn & Ark, will be THE surprise SEC teams this year. That being said, one of these teams is likely to knock GA off. Oddly enough, I give that nod to Tenn.

So, 8-4, and perhaps even 7-5.

So, drink up fans, Barnhart’s all the Kool-Aid you can drink.

Tide Rising

August 12th, 2009
10:53 am

Brew,

Our 2 probations that cost us severe schollarship sanctions were in the late 90s 15 schollies lost, and again in the early 2000s 21 schollies lost. For Pete’s sake everyone was whipping us then. Even Miss. State had a 3 game winning streak over Bama and Auburn and LSU thoroughly dominated us in the 2000s. What’s your point?

The series has always been streaky and before Fulmer’s run against us we had a 7 game unbeaten streak over the vols. What’s the point in living in the past with all this?

You’re just mad because when Bama is at full strength as we are now its a little bit harder to beat us and you’re probably mad because the last 2 games simply weren’t even competitive.

dawgfacedboy

August 12th, 2009
10:54 am

Dawgs 6 point underdogs against OSU.

Pole Smoker

August 12th, 2009
10:55 am

Paul Johnson is pure, unadulterated man. He gave me a rim shot I’ll never forget!

GO JACKETS!!!!

GT Alum

August 12th, 2009
10:59 am

Tony, when are you going to wake up and write a column about the lack of parity in the SEC?

GatorGuy

August 12th, 2009
11:00 am

M- Oklahoma was a pretty good team. How did the SEC do against them last yer?

Denver Dog

August 12th, 2009
11:05 am

Rambling Wreck, you are right when it comes to engineering. You guys forget that a university has more than one school. That is why Tech has fallen from it’s once vaunted academic position. The world is more than drawing lines, and plotting numbers, and make believe theories about where a number falls on an axis. However, there is a lot to be said for designs of falling bridges and parking gargages and the quality of eductation that went into the engineers. I guess from reading these blog entries, that communicaton skills is not taught there either.

I think the biggest trap games are for UGA the First 4, for UGA the second 4 and for UGA the last 4. I look at that schedule and do not see how in the world we can be on the field with anyone on the schedule. Big 12, Pac 10, ACC, and SEC. I guess we should quit playing Tech and start playing teams from real conferences. So for all of you last year folks, this is next year.

UF will not lose to anyone until they face UGA, and FSU. Those are the only teams on the schedule that may play them tough.

Alabama will lose to LSU, and to Ole Miss

SC will beat someone early then fade

Vandy will not beat UGA

Arkansas will not beat UGA

LSU will lose to UGA