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

darkhollow deecee

August 12th, 2009
5:38 pm

Whoever thinks the SEC is overrated is smoking and drinking through their ears! When the SEC loses non-conference games it is our worst teams against some other conference best! Top to bottom it is not even close! And the fact that you say that tells me that m stands for MORON! The SEC has 3 teams not powerful all the time and I bet you can’t name 3 teams in your conference that are powerful! You sound stupid! Go back to the ACC and wait for basketball season m. Not even worthy of a capital letter! You probably play table tennis for competition! Stay off football sites because you make football fans look bad being so dumb! Respond if you are not crying like a wimp!


August 12th, 2009
5:46 pm

OU and USC as well as OSU have won a NC and they do come from crappy conferences.

darkhollow deecee

August 12th, 2009
5:49 pm

All SEC haters,keep it up! I love it when the confetti comes down and all teams in the SEC get a share! Don’t you wish your sorry a.. conference had a good idea like that! Do you think all of these brilliant coaches decided to go to the SEC for hype! SEC! SEC! SEC!


August 12th, 2009
6:05 pm

VU-OM a trap game? Hmmmm….I guess we could be looking ahead to Army.


August 12th, 2009
6:44 pm

Tide Rising……..You are a gentleman and I much enjoy your posts…….Go Gators/RTR


August 12th, 2009
7:02 pm

i dont want anyone to give the hogs respect so will be taken lightly and as for rich tradition i do believe we have that as well!! i cant wait till sept 19th vs georgia i have been predicting that game as an upset all spring and summer and i really dont think it will be that close! Georgia wasnt that great with stafford or knoshawn who do they have now??

Eddy Gattis

August 12th, 2009
7:10 pm

Alabama could lose to Tennessee – but the “trap” game is South Carolina – sandwiched between Mississippi and Tennessee –

It’s homecoming – so the old ball coach will beat on hig guys about disrespect –

Win or lose against Mississippi the week before – and the Bama emotions will be shot –

And there’s the “look ahead” factor for the Tennessee game –

It’s that little squad from Columbia – with the great head coach – and the underdog mentality – that could be too easily overlooked –

It’s not who you beat – or who you lose to – it’s who sneaks up on you – and from that definition, South Carolina is worth watching out for if your the Crimson Tide.

Jim morrison

August 12th, 2009
7:19 pm

Bottom line!

Florida rolls through their schedule with ease.

GA will be lucky to win 7 Games!

Gators win another NC, SEC, & another Heisman for the trophy case.

Sorry guys, but they are that good and plenty of depth.

Give them props as they will not lose focus.

Enough Said!

Angry White Man

August 12th, 2009
9:01 pm


Black Out!

Slightly Educated Conf

August 12th, 2009
9:44 pm

sec only conf where one team beats another

joe taxpayer

August 12th, 2009
9:52 pm

Again Mr. College football T.B. tells us nothing we do not already know.


August 12th, 2009
10:57 pm

UF, reeling from the upset loss to Ole Miss the week before, still pounded Arkansas 38-7 on the road in 2008. What makes you think they’ll struggle at home against the same team?


August 13th, 2009
2:26 am

While UF did pound the Hogs at our place, it wasn’t until late in the second half, when an undermanned Razorbacks defense couldn’t hang did the Gators pour it on my Hogs.

Bobby Petrino and his staff have recruited well and our two deep roster will be vastly different than it was when we played last season and that will make a HUGE difference.
Also Ryan Mallett will be eligible and our receivers who were true freshmen last year will be battle tested and a year older……………..and bigger.
Our weakest link on defense last year was our secondary and with the Juco additions to the back of our defense, coupled with 5 star CB recruit Darrius Winston, Tebow and his receivers will find play pitch and catch a little more difficult this time around.
I’m not going so far as to promise a victory for my Razorbacks, but I will tell you right here and now that it won’t be another slaughter like last years contest ended up being.


August 13th, 2009
8:01 am

Dawgs will continue to over recruit and under perform.

[...] Barnhart mentions the >top 5 trap games in the SEC this [...]


August 13th, 2009
10:05 am

You know Ole Miss turned the ball over SIX times last year against Vandy. I wouldn’t expect the same this year. Vandy only had 202 yards of total offense.


August 13th, 2009
10:27 am

I flat out don’t see LSU overlooking UGA….UGA has won 3 in a row, and 6 of the last 8 vs LSU.


August 13th, 2009
11:06 am

LSU will certainly not be overlooking UGA. We know Athens is a tough place to play and the Dawgs have an outstanding program. I am looking forward to being there.

Geaux Tigers


August 13th, 2009
12:13 pm




August 13th, 2009
12:22 pm




August 13th, 2009
4:58 pm

The trap game for UF is the season finale when FSU comes to town.

Rick Trickett: People are not going to like seeing us roll into town. I am looking for five guys who will hit people in the mouth.


August 13th, 2009
5:53 pm

I would say Vanderbilt caused 6 Ole Miss turnovers.

Yeah, VU had 202 yards of offense. I wouldn’t expect the same this year.

Top Trap Games of 2009? | Baseball Blog

August 13th, 2009
10:43 pm

[...] Tony Barnhart listed his Top 5 Trap games for 2009. These are games that don’t look so difficult on paper but can really trip a team [...]

Orange Lightning

August 14th, 2009
12:58 am

Bama fans: So what your really trying to get at, is that the your time to get caught cheating is right around the corner, again. Trying to keep up with the Jonses? Saban$$$… Illegal Recruiting$$$$$$…
When you do finally get the death penalty what are you going to do? I don’t want to imagine that one. This could be a great book.

Trade School Junkie

August 14th, 2009
10:22 am

This article is just too funny for its ompletely dubious pretense.

Folks, there is ONLY ONE trap game for the whole damn SEC.

It the OKST vs GA game.

Aside from Ark vs TxAM(which Ark is gonna win), there are NO OTHER BIG 12 vs SEC GAMES in the regualr season. Big 12 & SEC wont face off until bowl season.

So, if a top Big 12 team (OKST) beats a “top” SEC team(yeh, I know, as over-ratd as they are now) (GA), then the Big 12 will have “a voting edge” on the SEC when the BCS Bowl voting begins at end of season.

The BCBS voting will have to look back at THIS GAME. Dont think it wotn matter. Its gonna be HUUUUUGE when the final BCS voting starts.

Despite the volume of Kool-Aid being poured out by blind homers like Barnhart, THIS IS THE TRAP GAME OF THE YEAR.

And, OKST is gonna CRUSH ga in Stillwater.

[...] the first perfect season in school history, and Tony Barnhart confirmed the meme this week in his list of the SEC’s top "trap" games of the [...]

[...] true! Tony Barnhart said it’s the biggest trap game in the SEC. And while he is one of the sharpest minds in [...]

Jim morrison

August 14th, 2009
11:08 pm

Hey Seminole,

You gotta be kidding.

FL State will not be a threat to the Gators in the Swamp.

Enough Said!


August 15th, 2009
1:35 am

woo pig sooie

Jay Rock

August 15th, 2009
7:25 am

Hey, FzIZZLE – you still out there?
This is an SEC board, and has nothing to do with your ‘07 falCONvicks. While you’re looking up the NFL, try looking for a job. I hear they’re hiring in Phillie, where you can catch up with your boy.


August 16th, 2009
9:07 am

Why am I the only one that thinks that Auburn could be a trap game? They have talent, even if they only finish like 7-5. Their have been stranger things that have happened in that rivalry. 1996 OT win by a 5-6 UGA team game? 1999 38-21 beatdown by a 5-6 Auburn team in Athens? You can throw the records out when those two teams play.


August 16th, 2009
12:02 pm

Don’t worry about the Hogs. “That Coach” still lives down there. NUF said.


August 16th, 2009
1:51 pm

Last season the ACC improved to an all-time winning percentage of .182 in 11 BCS games, by far the worst winning percentage of all college football conferences (second-to-last is the Big Ten at .421 in 19 games). The Mountain West is undefeated but has only played 2 games. The SEC (of course) leads all conferences with a .710 winning percentage in 17 BCS games. The SEC has never lost a BCS Nat’l Champ. Game (5-0).
For ACC fans who say these numbers just support the notion that the SEC is just a top-heavy conference, you could look at conference records in all bowls. Last season the SEC was 6-2 and the ACC was 4-6. I guess ACC fans are putting their pride in the 2 teams that didn’t make a bowl, Duke and Virginia. The previous season the SEC went 7-2 in bowls and the ACC went 2-6. The year before that the SEC went 6-3 and the ACC went 4-4.
I don’t see how anyone could rationally argue the premise that the ACC is the media darling of college football. Why else would they continue to receive media coverage and place so many sub-par teams in bowl games.


August 16th, 2009
2:18 pm

No team has a tougher schedule than South Carolina.
The only teams on their schedule who didn’t make a bowl last season were SC State (who went undefeated in their conference) and @ Arkansas, a team who beat LSU in their last game last season.
Other away games are at NCSTATE, UGA, BAMA, & TENN.
SCarolina’s bye doesn’t come until after their last SEC game against Florida.

7-5 would be a great record.

Yo Moma

August 17th, 2009
2:30 pm

I worry most about UF. I wonder how UGA will win more than 1 of the last 5 games! The great Football wins at UGA mean more to me than the fact that I will always make a whole lot less than a Tech grad for the rest of my life.

Yo Moma

August 17th, 2009
2:33 pm

Sorry; that was mean spirited. But I felt like I just had to remind people that your school wining football games is great but it is not a key to a successful life.


August 19th, 2009
12:52 am


I can’t wait to hear your apology to Ole Miss fans when they shock the world against Florida in the SEC Championship! No love for the Rebs! Please don’t jump on the bandwagon once we roll through the Tigers and Tide in Oxford! Stick with your Bama pick all the way!

Jim morrison

August 21st, 2009
11:43 pm

Hey Mark,

You must be on crack!

Gators will not lose this year as the SEC, Heisman, and NC are a sure bet!

Enough Said!

Just In Time « Picture Me Rollin

October 20th, 2009
11:30 am

[...] But it isn’t very likely. This is not a good football team and there is no way around that. Tony Barnhart called this out as a trap game in the summer. But part of his premise was that UT would be winless in the conference. As you all [...]