After defeating eventual BCS national champion Alabama and finishing last year with a record of 11-2, expectations couldn't be higher for the Texas A&M football program heading into the 2013 season.
There are some difficult games on the schedule—including another contest against Alabama and one against LSU—but the team's chances of winning the SEC and/or the BCS title game absolutely hinge on its ability to win the games it is supposed to win.
There are three tiers of opponents on the Aggies schedule this year: elite, average and cupcake.
Nobody expects Texas A&M to lose the few games against cupcake opponents, but there are a few average teams that could catch the Aggies off guard. These are opponents this team should easily beat, but should it fail to show up 100-percent focused, an upset could transpire.
These potential trap games will either sink the team's chances of putting together an epic season or allow the Aggies to make it possible.
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas: Sept. 28 at D.W.R. Razorback Stadium
It would be easy for the young players on the Aggies roster to take a look back at their dominant 58-10 beatdown of the Razorbacks at home last year and assume this year's contest will be just as easy.
It would be easy, but taking that mindset into this game would certainly doom Texas A&M.
Arkansas was a veritable train wreck last season thanks to the demise of Bobby Petrino in the spring of 2012. The program fell apart at the seams, and as a result the Razorbacks won just four games.
You can be sure new head coach Bret Bielema will have Arkansas playing with much more discipline and intensity in 2013, and the Aggies must not treat this game with anything less than their full attention.
Mississippi State vs. Texas A&M: Nov. 9 at Kyle Field
The Bulldogs didn't put up a huge fight last year at home against the Aggies, losing 38-13.
Texas A&M features a superior roster, and this is certainly a game the Aggies should win.
That said, the team's next game on the schedule is against LSU—one of the biggest games of the year. This is the definition of a trap game, as the Aggies could get caught looking ahead instead of focusing on the task at hand.
Even though it's true that Texas A&M has a better team, for the squad to assume that the Bulldogs can't put up a huge fight—if not win the game—is asking for trouble.
According to Brad Locke of the NEMS Daily Journal, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen is extremely high on fifth-year senior quarterback Tyler Russell, whom he expects to have a breakout year.
If Johnny Manziel and the Aggies offense do not come out with their usual fire, Russell and the Bulldogs could get some hard-earned revenge on the road with a huge win at Kyle Field.
Texas A&M vs. Missouri: Nov. 30 at Faurot Field
Should the Aggies go undefeated to this point in the season, this will be the final game played before the SEC Championship Game.
It's not likely a game Texas A&M will look past, but it is a road contest before what will likely be the biggest game on the team's schedule, and a loss would certainly submarine the team's BCS title game chances.
It's the last trap game of the year, and the Aggies must show up in force to reinforce their championship hopes.
A Missouri player who could be a huge factor in this game is sophomore wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was the top recruit in the nation in 2012, according to Rivals.com. It'll be up to the Aggies secondary to shut him down and ensure Missouri's offense can't get going.
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