Every year, college football teams across America end up losing a game that they should have won. They were the favorite, yet they fell into a trap game and lost.
A nice thing about the “Win the Day” mantra in the Oregon Ducks football program is that every game is treated like a championship; whether it is Missouri State or Missouri, the Ducks are always prepared for a brawl.
And for good reason—trap games are everywhere.
Did anyone predict Louisiana-Monroe beating Arkansas? How about Western Kentucky over Kentucky? Stanford toppling No. 1 USC three weeks into the season? Or how about Washington beating the Cardinal the very next week?
Like I said, trap games are everywhere.
In 2013, Oregon will have to deal with playing some very good teams, or playing far away from home; these games could end up being trap games for the Ducks.
While the Cavaliers continued to be an ACC bottom feeder in 2012, Virginia’s 4-8 record has to be taken with a grain of salt—five of their eight losses were one-score games.
Virginia is going to be a much-improved team with both quarterbacks returning, as well as the team’s leading rusher and receiver, but what makes this a trap game for Oregon is that it will be on the other side of the country in Charlottesville, Va.
Playing thousands of miles from home in only the second game of the season could end with the Ducks walking off of the field with their heads down.
UCLA was without a doubt the nation's most improved team in 2012, head coach Jim Mora’s first season with the Bruins.
The Bruins will continue to play winning football in 2013 with a more experienced Brett Hundley at quarterback, as well as a secondary made up of returning players.
When UCLA comes to town on Oct. 26, the Ducks will have a major fight on their hands.
Oregon is going to have to be prepared to avoid a repeat of late October games (USC in 2011; Stanford in 2012.)
For the past nine years, Oregon has dominated the Border War against Washington.
Has Husky Nation had enough or will the Ducks' winning streak continue to 10, a full decade of dominance in the Pacific Northwest?
Washington will benefit from home field advantage in this contest, but that did little to help the Huskies in 2011 (see: 34-17 Oregon victory).
Husky Stadium underwent an extensive remodel this past season, and Washington does not want to move back into their stadium in the same fashion that Cal did this past season after a Memorial Stadium upgrade.
Washington has had success against ranked teams at home with victories over USC in 2009 and Stanford in 2012. Could Oregon be a new addition to that list?