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August 13, 2009

Top Trap Games of 2009?

Yesterday, 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 up. His top five are:
1. Arkansas at Florida
2. Tennessee at Alabama
3. Georgia at Arkansas
4. LSU at Georgia
5. Ole Miss at Vanderbilt

He explains his reasoning, and there's some merit in those selections. However, I'd argue for a few differences.

First off, Florida is going to slaughter Arkansas. The Ole Miss debacle last year wasn't just caused by Florida's ambivalence towards the underrated Rebels. It was also caused by Dan Mullen not finding his rhythm with utilizing Demps, Rainey and Harvin at tailback to take pressure off of Tebow. Once they sorted their personnel utilization issues out, they were borderline unstoppable offensively. I don't see the Gators being tripped up at home against the worst defense in the SEC.

Separately, Tony's hedged remarks about the LSU at Georgia game aside, that's not a trap for LSU. Even though they play Florida the following week, Miles will have them squarely focused on the Dawgs. You don't give up 52 points at home and forget about it.

Alternative Selections
I'd replace one of those two games with Ole Miss at South Carolina on Thursday Night of Week 4. The Gamecocks start the season at NC State and at Georgia before coming home in Week 3 against Florida Atlantic. At best, they'll likely be 2-1 coming into the Ole Miss game, and I'm inclinded to believe they'll be 1-2.

Ole Miss should paste the Gamecocks, but you have the Houston Nutt Implosion Factor(TM) combined with Ole Miss' four decade long struggle with Altitude Sickness. They blow themselves up anytime the thin air of a high ranking gets too much for them. Also, the Gamecocks beat the Rebels last year in Oxford, and this year's game is on a Thursday night where home teams do pretty well. I think the Rebels win, but this is a very dangerous game for Nutt.

Secondly, I'd list Kentucky at Auburn as a trap for Auburn. You could argue that this can't be classified as a trap for AU because Kentucky is likely better than the Tigers. However, most Aubies would have trouble admitting that UK is ahead of them. The Tigers will be coming off consecutive away games at Tennessee and Arkansas, and they get LSU and Ole Miss following the UK game. For the Cats, the trip to The Plains could be the difference between a Peach Bowl birth and a Liberty Bowl game. I think those factors converge to make for a brutally disappointing game for Aubies.

What do you think is the biggest trap game in the SEC?

See Also:
-- SEC Schedule Grid

PWD

32 comments:

The Ol Ball Coach said...

Ole Miss should paste South Carolina like they did last year in Oxford. Oh wait.....

Paul Westerdawg said...

I clearly acknowledged that Ole Miss lost to SC last year in Oxford.

However, I don't think Chris Smelley is on the roster to save SC from Garcia this year.

Anonymous said...

"What do you think is the biggest trap game in the SEC?"

The WLOCP.

Anonymous said...

Bama looking past FIU for North Texas.

Anonymous said...

Florida vs. Mississippi State on Oct 24.

Robert said...

South Carolina is a much bigger trap game for Bama than UT is.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Bama @ UK.

Jitterbug said...

The biggest trap game that I see in the SEC is Georgia vs. Tenn Tech. That game reminds me of the Colorado and Troy games where our guys were tired towards the end of the season.

Plus, Tenn Tech has a wide open offense that could give us trouble. Like the time we played Colorado, the altitude could bother us as well.

Dooley always said that we played our best when Vandy was at home and they're off in California somewhere. Plus, Oregon has USC in Palo Alto.

The russian judge gives a said...

6.0, jitter.

Jitterbug said...

I also meant to ask, do any of you fellas remember when the big Colorado steer ran over the young handler when we played them in Boulder? That was definately scary. Joe Cox did a great job leading us to a win that game with that pass to Leonard Pope.

Anonymous said...

Jitterbug,

That game was played in Athens.

Mackie said...

Cocktail Party.

Georgia shocks the world.

Dawgs 23, Gators 21.

Gators still rule the day said...

Don't kid yourself Mackie. Georgia has zero chance in Jax this year.

Gators roll - 35 to 13.

1985 is dead and gone.

DWH said...

You can't discount the importance of that bye before the UF/UGA game. I don't know if UGA wins this year, but I'm willing to bet UF will have its hands full.

Anonymous said...

I think Ole Miss definitely will have their hands full in Columbia. I also like Miss State to shock somebody, but not Florida. Maybe LSU?
Speaking of LSU, since when are they a consensus top 10 team? When I look at them, they remind me of the Dawgs. Unproven at quarterback, good offensive line, and a defense that SHOULD be better than last year's, but is still untested. Granted, they do have a great running back, but we all know you have to have a good QB to win in the SEC. Also, I remain unconvinced that Les Miles is anything but a mediocre coach. I think Georgia vs. LSU will be a great game. So will the WLOCP...

That said, going to Fayetteville after a trip to Stillwater and a tough home game scares the beJesus out of me.

Kevin said...

I think the last two years in Jax came down to who wanted it more.

There is no doubt in my mind UGA wants it more this year.

There is also no doubt in my mind FLA is better on paper.

This is why they play the game.

Kevin said...

Oh, Sorry...

Biggest Trap Game: LSU @ Miss St.
They'll be finishing up against no real competition looking ahead to consecutive weeks against UGA and FL

Ubiquitous GA Alum said...

Ole Miss @ Vandy is a trap game for Ole Miss... 2 Reasons. Vandy is a morgue and OM gets caught looking ahead.

OM ekes out a win the week before at SC on Thursday night and they glance ahead to Bama the week after Vandy.

Find themseleves losing 17-13.

PTC DAWG said...

Since the UGA game is such a lock, what type of odds are you naysayers willing to lay? 100-1? 50-1? 25-1? Just HOW confident are you?

PTC DAWG said...

Since the UF game is such a lock, what kind of odds are you naysayers willing to lay? I know I'll take 100-1...probably 50-1...possibly 10-1? Just how confident are you?

Carlton said...

Florida looking past Charleston Southern and seeing Troy and Florida International looming.

Will said...

0% Gator? Even if say some comely lass finally convinces Tebow that college is a time to be having sex and he quits the team, and transfers to some team out west solely to chase tail until the NFL draft?

Gen. Stoopnagle said...

I agree with Tony: I think Arkansas is a huge trap game for us. Not that we'll be looking ahead, but we go to Stillwater, come home to play SC, then go to Fayettenam. Arkies have a directional MO team, an off week, then us. That's not good for us.

2:15: Should we also discount 1997 and 2007? Defending National Champions don't fare well versus Georgia. Not even the Mighty Gators. The game will still be played...

2:30: Amen on LSU. But, I suppose that's the power of having a couple of crystal balls in the trophy case. We'll definitely get to see who is better. I like Georgia's chances.

HiAltDawg said...

Biggest Trap Game: Jim Beam vs my liver

Gen. Stoopnagle said...

Yo HiAltDawg wins!

Anonymous said...

and that was Martrez Milner, I assume you're messing with us.

Anonymous said...

If we have no chance at all in Jax, then I guess someone ought to let CMR know. Just so he won't have to bother even trying, and so he'll have extra time to prepare for the following week.

Right.

Squarebush said...

"Should we also discount 1997 and 2007? Defending National Champions don't fare well versus Georgia. Not even the Mighty Gators. The game will still be played..."


I like the stat of UGA vs. defending national champions, but someone made a good point the other day. This year's defending champion is loaded...very loaded. In previous years where UGA has face defending natty champs, were the teams as loaded or were they leaning more toward rebuilding or reloading?

Gen. Stoopnagle said...

Certainly that wasn't the case for '07 UF or '08 or '04 LSU. They were all three pretty plain. That '07 UF defense was B-A-D (as in opposite of what it is now).

We ought not to sell the '09 Dawgs short. We're pretty talented and if we make the improvements on defense expected, then we'll be formidable.

But I hear you...

No History Before Spurrier said...

The WLOCP is by far the biggest trap game when considering the rivalry, history, and even the importance of the game to Florida's season. I hope Meyer & Co. don't view it as a trap game.

Dr. Peabody McGee said...

Unfortunately, I think Georgia at Arkansas is probably the Dawgs' biggest "trap" game this year.

Arkansas opens with Missouri State, gets a bye week, and then welcomes Georgia to Fayetteville.

While the Razorbacks' starters play half of one game before getting two weeks of preparation for UGA, Georgia has to travel to Stillwater for a probable shootout. That's followed by a game against Spurrier's always-ready-for-the-Dawgs Gamecocks, who will have had an extra couple of days of preparation due to their opener being scheduled on a Thursday.

Georgia's got the talent to overwhelm Arkansas, but they'll be exhausted compared to the Hogs at that point, and Petrino and Co. will have the additional advantage of an extra week's preparation.

TopDawg said...

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