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Big 12 Football: Navigating through the Minefield of Trap Games

August 18, 2015

                                                                                                                          Photo credit Lisa Horne


They are there. Yet they get ignored every year. 


Those ill-timed games that seem to get the best of every unsuspecting team. The Big 12 has some dandy potential upsets in the making. 


Will the coaches have their teams prepared? Or will the Big 12 lose another opportunity to play in the College Football Playoff because of a woulda-coulda-shoulda game? Trap games are in bold.




While Baylor looks forward to its date with TCU on November 21, Oklahoma State lies in wait on November 21. No further explanation is necessary.




For a trap game to exist, one is usually favored--however slightly--to win that game. So... South Dakota State it is for the rebuilding Jayhawks.  


Kansas State


Will Kansas State sleepwalk--remember Eastern Kentucky and North Dakota State?--through its nonconference slate again? Louisiana Tech is not the team on which to fall asleep. 


Iowa State


College footall expert Phil Steele has Toledo winning the Mid-American Conference's West. Iowa State will have played rival Iowa in the previous week. This has the makings of a letdown game for the Cyclones. 




The Sooners' schedule is loaded with trap games. Playing West Virginia before the Red River Rivalry is a little unnerving. Playing Kansas State the following week is ripe for a letdown. Iowa State may get overlooked before Oklahoma plays Baylor. 


Oklahoma State


The Cowboys have two "look ahead" games that could land them with two losses. They play at Texas Tech on Halloween (ouch) before hosting TCU. They also play at Iowa State before hosting Baylor. 




The Horned Frogs will not be surprised by West Virginia again. They may be surprised on September 3 when they travel to Minnesota. TCU has lost its last two road openers: Baylor in '11 and LSU in '13. 




The Longhorns host Cal on September 19, a week before they open up conference play with Oklahoma State. With only five starters returning on defense, Texas will struggle to contain quarterback Jared Goff and his arsenal of weapons. 


Texas Tech


Texas Tech returns 17 starters but facing Kansas before Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas seems like a recipe for disaster. Last year Kansas gave Texas Tech a fight, twice keeping the game within six points in the third quarter.


West Virginia


Coming off a bye and playing Maryland before opening up conference play at Oklahoma is a red flag. Head coach Dana Holgorsen is 4-7 off of byes and 4-5 vs Power 5 teams.  



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