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

T

August 12th, 2009
6:40 am

Why is it silly to say that LSU will look past Georgia? Believe it or not Tony, Georgia doesnt strike fear like you want to think? Can you say 49-10?

U

August 12th, 2009
6:45 am

T

it’s pretty early in the morning to be smoking that funny stuff. I think UGA struck fear into the kitties last year in Baton Rouge. I can say 49 – 10 : UGA 49, LSU 10 !!

m

August 12th, 2009
6:48 am

The sec does better when they play each other. When they go out of conference, when they play quality teams (which is rare, they usually get the crap beat out of them.

The ACC and sec played 10 games in the regular season last year…the ACC won 6. This year they play 7 games between the ACC and sec and once again the ACC will win.

The sec is a top heavy overrated overhyped conference.

Bill E. Goat

August 12th, 2009
6:49 am

As a Gator fan the Arkansas game scares me but I think the real trap game on our schedule is @Kentucky the week after the emotional buildup and commencement of beating the brains out of Lane Kiffin and UT.

Gator Mike

August 12th, 2009
6:49 am

Tony, I completely agree with your assessments on the 5 aforementioned games. You make some excellent points.

'Bama 1

August 12th, 2009
6:54 am

Bill E. Goat, What brains? Anybody who runs their mouth like Kiffin does, before ever playing a down in the SEC, don’t have any!

Spike

August 12th, 2009
7:01 am

M has once again amply illustrated his overwhelming ignorance about football. And he did it all by himself.

Long Dawg

August 12th, 2009
7:03 am

M=god and greyhound. This guy is desperate for someone to talk to. Uses multiple identities and spews the same thing every time. M also = idiot. Dumb@$$ look at the ACC vs SEC all time record. It is not even close. Look who is winning national championships and playing in BCS bowls. You can deny the facts but it doesn’t change them. 50 of the ACC wins last year vs the ACC were against Vandy and Mississippi St. Denial is a sign of mental illness so you should see your shrink.

Georgia’s schedule is full of traps. SC is always tough, Arkansas will be out to make a statement that they are back, so will Tenn. and Auburn. Tech always plays their best game against Ga. because it is the only game that gives their program any meaning.
We’ve gotta focus and play one game at a time. Forget everything else, one at a time.

T-Bo

August 12th, 2009
7:12 am

Based on your comments, Tony, Georgia could start the season 0-3 with losses against Okla. State, South Carolina and Arkansas. That’s not likely, but still possible, which shows the shaky position the UGA program is in.

Not Disappointed

August 12th, 2009
7:29 am

Georgia vs South Carolina is going to be a good game as usual. The outcome of the game depends on Quarterback & Running backs.

Vandy vs Ole Miss should be a good one to watch!
Nevertheless “College Football is at hand Gents!”

Go Jackets!

reebok

August 12th, 2009
7:35 am

I agree on the Vandy-Ole Miss game…Georgia-LSU will be a great game this year! I don’t see S Carolina being a threat to anybody…’trap’ game or otherwise.

gator mike sucks

August 12th, 2009
7:35 am

Hey Gator Mike, you take yourself way too seriously. You trying to prove your football knowledge. What a jack @$$. Save your expert analysis for the Gainesville blogs.

Saint Simons

August 12th, 2009
7:36 am

Forbes ranks UGA # 171 in its story on the best colleges and universities in America – GT is # 501 – hahahahaha, oops – I mean wah, wah, wah!!!

SimpleDawg

August 12th, 2009
7:37 am

T-Bo, go over and get in the tickle pile with m, g & g, st.s, and all of the other morons.

Saint Simons

August 12th, 2009
7:40 am

Oh hell, Tony – you could have taken any 5 games in the conference and made them trap games! And to think you get paid for this drivel and you continue to compare yourself to Furman Bisher. Shame, shame, shame, and, same to those who continue to think of you as Mr. College Football – this column proves that anyone can write anything they want – all an expert is someone with a briefcase more than 1 mile from home!

UGASlobberknocker

August 12th, 2009
7:53 am

Ole Miss at SC 3rd week of season on a Thursday night..The first real test for an overhyped Ole Miss team. That one looks like a land mine to me.

UGASlobberknocker

August 12th, 2009
7:54 am

If this were Survivor, St Simons wold have been voted off of the island years ago.

Jim morrison

August 12th, 2009
7:57 am

Hey gator mike sucks, F U!

Take your sorry GA loving self back to putting your head in the sand. You having nothing to say to another Gator fan until your team actually wins a NC! Uh, 29 years since the last one isn’t it?

See you for another beat down in Jax again this year.

Enough Said

Eat Your Words

August 12th, 2009
7:59 am

You’ll all be eating your words when Ole Miss runs the table and goes 19-0 after winning the SEC, ACC, and Big 10 championship games before also shutting out Florida 72-0 to win the National Championship in January. Vandy?!? Ha! Ole Miss will probably beat them about 147-3.

Houston Nutt makes Ed Orgeron look like a fat, crazy coonass . . . hey, wait!!!

alottoprove

August 12th, 2009
8:01 am

For UGA the first trap game is their first SEC game when Darth Visor comes to town. Expect a silly meltdown or poor play by UGA.

weaintthere yet!!

August 12th, 2009
8:04 am

UGA better catch balls and better quit throwing picks. Practices are already proving its gonna be a loooooooooooooooooooong season for the dawgs.

Around The SEC This Morning | MrSEC.com

August 12th, 2009
8:04 am

[...] Tony Barnhart of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains why the following clashes will serve as the SEC’s five biggest trap games of 2009:1.  Arkansas at Florida2.  Tennessee at Alabama3.  Georgia at Arkansas4.  LSU at [...]

JB

August 12th, 2009
8:09 am

Sorry…..let’s switch to the ACC early…….A trap game will be Tech AT Duke…..The trap will be a friend will ask you to go, and you will be trapped into watching it. Now that is a trap game !

Saint Simons

August 12th, 2009
8:20 am

Good one JB!

Don Ho

August 12th, 2009
8:20 am

Tony,

You have to be kidding! Alabama overlooking the Vols? After Lance Thompson & Lane Kiffin running their mouths?

This game is circled on the schedule BIG TIME.

Funny Money

August 12th, 2009
8:31 am

GT grad wages – avg. starting: 58,900 (#2), mid career avg: 105,000 (#3)

uga grad wages – avg. starting: 43,900, mid career avg: 81,500

http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/top-state-universities.asp

How could any game in the SEC be a trap game? They are so superior to every other league that how can they POSSIBLY overlook anyone in their own MIGHTY league? Remember, Duke > Vandy

Bama Aaron

August 12th, 2009
8:36 am

I agree with Don Ho… Bama will not be overlooking UT. After all the talk the Vols coaches have done in the past off season that game will be circled for some special treatment.

Required Reading | Hard Knox Sports

August 12th, 2009
8:37 am

[...] 5 SEC trap games. [Barnhart] [...]

TommyGator

August 12th, 2009
8:41 am

Tony, Agree with most of this. Gators must not snooze on any Saturday, but Arky is the most dangerous “trap” for UF IMO. I predicted the Ole Miss “problem” last year and have had Arky circled as the potential overlook for this year.

As far as UT & Bama…. I don’t believe ANYONE will overlook the vomiteers this year. Little laney has made them a target game for ALL the big boys.

SavannahJacket

August 12th, 2009
8:42 am

Tony….I have no idea why anyone refers to you as Mr. College Football. This must be a name that you gave yourself. All you are is an Old, Past his Prime, UGA fan that probably comes to work drunk. Could you possibly be more bias with anything that you dribble. “I will be traveling to NY today…. I have to see what other people are saying so that I can write about something that I don’t understand….. uh..Go Dawgs”

Any why do you always lean forward in your picture? Is it to hide the second and third chin with the butt chin. Get a Life!!! Loser.

Reality Check

August 12th, 2009
8:45 am

You tech fans need a Reality Check, we let you win cause we felt sorry for you! And Forbes list of top schools says it all, everyone knows employers value a degree from UGA more than one from yech, everybody knows it!

GT Alum

August 12th, 2009
8:53 am

Tony, whats up with the man crush on Petrino??

superDawg

August 12th, 2009
8:55 am

Every game UF plays is a trap game go everybody.As far as tek goes they will be trapped in their own house NOV.28,09 with nowhere to hide.DAWGS ROLL BIG.

David

August 12th, 2009
8:55 am

GO HOGS!!!!!!!!!

Brew

August 12th, 2009
9:00 am

Tennessee is a trap game for Bamer? Sickening. I have to disagree a little Tony. Under “normal circumstances”, we’d be scraping Bamer off our shoes like gum. One of the reasons Fulmer got to stay so long without another SEC title was that he owned the Tahd. Once he let them back in the series, it was another sure sign he had to go.

Jerome

August 12th, 2009
9:03 am

The bulldog is the second dumbest breed of dog……No wonder UGA picked it as their mascot. Goes in line with the students there.

Mort Merkel

August 12th, 2009
9:04 am

The Gator rallying cry against UT, “Remember Pahokee!”

Joe

August 12th, 2009
9:05 am

Hey “T”- you’re an idiot. Up till 1991- UGA sure struck fear in UF. We were the prime reason you never won a SEC title till 91. Trust me- as in all series, the tide will turn again- it has already started…been back and forth the last few years

Got 12?

August 12th, 2009
9:05 am

Yesterday, Va Tech’s leading rusher tore his ACL and will miss the entire season. Before the injury, Bama was favored by 6. I wonder what the spread will grow to now? This will also obviously affect the ACC-C race.

Boss Hogg

August 12th, 2009
9:06 am

Keep running your mouth superDawg, it makes you look more stupid. BTW, didn’t we hear this last year. UGA has no trap games. They will trot out their press clippings & just intimidate everyone like the blackout did against Bama.

Brew

August 12th, 2009
9:08 am

Dang

I forgot Bamer leads the series with the Vols 45–38–7

Georgia Nole

August 12th, 2009
9:10 am

Since the SEC is such a superior conference compared to all other, shouldn’t all the games be trap games? SEC homers talk up lowly Mississippi State, Auburn and Vanderbilt like there are reincarnations of Notre Dame teams from the 1930’s coached by Knute Rockne.

At least in the ACC we admit which teams are garbage (Duke, Maryland and maybe BC this season). I guess if SEC fan didn’t make every team in the conference out to be amazing the media would stop drinking the Kool-Aid and a bit of reality would creep into the discussion.

Georgia Nole

August 12th, 2009
9:12 am

@ Got 12: I think with VT’s leading rusher out for the season Tech should be the odds on favorite to win their division and make a trip to the ACCCG.

Brew

August 12th, 2009
9:14 am

Thanks for stealing my name. What was your record against Fulmer? Look at the series when he was coach from beginning to end.

SEC4Life

August 12th, 2009
9:16 am

Long Dawg,

I totally agree with you in that most of UGA’s games are traps, ESPECIALLY SC and Arkansas. I don’t know why, but UGA keeps SC in the game every year with weak offensive play for the first 3 1/2 quarters of the games. Arkansas is definitely out to make a statment this year as well. While UGA was clearly the better team last year when they played LSU I don’t see this year’s game being anything like last year’s drubbing. I love the Bayou Bengals, but when you have a Harvard transfer @ QB and he’s backed up by an undisciplined #2 QB who’s not even on the team anymore, what did you expect would happen? Although the game will be played between the hedges this year, look for it to be a lot closer than last year.

The game that scares me the most is the season opener against Okla. State. Whoever scheduled their opener against [arguably] the 4th best team in the Big 12 needs to be fired. I watched a few of their games last year and the Cowboys are an extremely dangerous team. Their TE and WRs could give UGAs DB’s problems. Look at it this way, UGA lost the #1 spot in the polls after winning their “cupcake” season opener last year, I wonder how far they’ll drop if they should happen to lose their season opener this year?

SecIsFootball

August 12th, 2009
9:17 am

Brew….The last 2 year BAMA has owned UT and the games were not even contested. Fulmer was a NC winning coach who you traded in for a bumbling moron who cant keep his mouth shut. Looks for UF, UGA and BAMA to put a lot of points up on Kiffin this year. I am confident in saying that after this season, BAMA’s record against UT will be 46-38-7!

dbc

August 12th, 2009
9:18 am

I predict the Dawgs WILL NOT have any problems with South Carolina this year. Instead of opening up with a laugher, UGA will be up and game tested by a strong Okie State team. The Dawgs won’t have the luxury of easing into the season — they’ll have a seriousness and purpose about them they don’t normally have early on. This mindset will set the tone.

Zizzle

August 12th, 2009
9:18 am

Bobby Petrino is a sleaze bag loser of a coach! Florida is safe from that loser. The two winners are Florida for the easy win this year over Arkansas and the Atlanta Falcons for having a real man like Mike Smith coach the team!!!!

VanDSIRROM

August 12th, 2009
9:18 am

Tony, the Ole Miss game at Vandy is a real “trap” especially if Miss wins big in Columbia the week before. No question that the Rebels will be looking forward to Alabama in Oxford. Vandy has beaten Ole Miss 3 out of the last 4. This year could make it 4 out of 5 and may knock them out of the top 25.

Georgia needs to be concerned about their Vanderbilt game. It comes after the Bull Dawgs play ‘on the hill’ where deadend Lane very much has their attention and before their BIG game in Jacksonville. Tell me they won’t be looking ahead to Florida. This is a “trap” game for sure and the ‘Dores are still ’smarting’ over the last game in Nashville with the ‘late in game’ fumble on the 10 yardline.

[note to Funny Money: When you rub Vandy's face in Duke doo, stop and recall the Music City Bowl when Vandy beat a team that played for the ACC Championship last year, Boston College.]

AFnPC

August 12th, 2009
9:19 am

1. Won’t even be a game; Florida wins BIG! 45-13
2. If Bama finds some offense, this won’t be close either. Without offense from Bama, this game won’t have any at all and may resemble the AU-Tenn game last year 13-12…38-9
3. Georgia loses this one by 10 or more…24-13
4. Georgia wins a close one. 24-21
5. Vandy lacks a couple of things, mainly a QB, WRs, and RBs…Ole Miss has the offensive firepower to outscore Vandy, 17-3.