One Trap Game for Every College Football Team in 2013
With every college football team playing major conference rivals and other tough non-conference foes, there is always a chance that a trap game could come up and get a team when it is least expecting.
That is one reason why an excellent head coach can go along way. It is hard to stay motivated for every game during the college football season, but that is what it takes to run the table and play for a national championship.
Either way, there is a trap game on every team's 2013 schedule that could go as far as ruining a season if those teams are not careful. A trap game is oftentimes a game sandwiched between two marquee games.
It can also be a game that a team is expecting to win, but the players might be looking ahead to the next week. The team will likely be the favorite coming in, but the matchup may not be in their favor. Either way, it is a losable game for that team.
While it might not seem like it now, those trap games are out there.
Here is the biggest trap game for every college football team as the 2013 season approaches.
Air Force Falcons
Trap Game: at Navy, Oct. 5
Air Force might be a factor once again in the Mountain West Conference. The Falcons have some tough games to start off the season, but a road trip to Navy could be a huge trap game for this team.
It is right between conference games against Nevada and San Diego State. Those are two of the teams the Falcons will likely be competing with in a challenging league.
Even though Navy struggled last season, this is no gimme for Air Force.
Trap Game: vs. James Madison, Sept. 7
The only game Akron will likely be favored in will be the second week of the season during a home contest against James Madison.
That game falls a week after the season opener at Central Florida and a week before a road trip to Michigan. Needless to say, it is the most winnable game on the schedule.
With two huge non-conference games surrounding it, there is no question that the Zips might not be focused against the Dukes.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Trap Game: vs. Tennessee, Oct. 26
The Alabama schedule might be the easiest in the SEC. It is hard to find a trap game, as the few challenging matchups for a team as talented as the Crimson Tide are spread out very well.
One team that could give the Crimson Tide fits is Tennessee toward the end of October.
The Vols have a lot of questions to answer, particularly with a new head coach, but by that point in the season they could be well on their way to a bowl berth.
For Alabama, it also falls right before one of the biggest games of the season against LSU.
Trap Game: at California, Nov. 2
California only won three games last season while Arizona was a bowl team, but the Wildcats better watch out for the Golden Bears the first week of November.
The game is not only on the road, but it is also a week before a huge showdown with UCLA.
If the Golden Bears are healthy, Arizona better come ready to play in this one.
Arizona State Sun Devils
Trap Game: at Utah, Nov. 9
Arizona State plays a grueling schedule, particularly at the beginning of the year. The Sun Devils take on the likes of Wisconsin, Stanford, USC and Notre Dame in a four-week stretch.
The schedule softens up during the middle of the season, but a road trip to Utah could bite the Sun Devils if they are not careful.
Utah struggled last season with injuries but should be improved in 2013. This could have bowl implications, so Arizona State better come prepared for this one.
Trap Game: vs. Auburn, Nov. 2
Arkansas plays a very challenging SEC schedule with most of the big names on the list, including Florida, South Carolina, LSU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Alabama among others.
One game that the Razorbacks might need to be careful with is a home date against Auburn. It comes after a road game versus Alabama and a week before a road contest with Ole Miss.
This is likely to be the most winnable SEC game, but by this point in the season, the Tigers will be in much better shape than at the beginning of the year. That could mean trouble.
Arkansas State Red Wolves
Trap Game: at Memphis, Sept. 21
Even though Memphis was not much last year, the Tigers did win a few games toward the end of the season.
Arkansas State begins conference play the week before with a home game against Troy. The following week might be the hardest game on the schedule at Missouri.
The Red Wolves are always near the top of the Sun Belt, but this could be a team in for a surprise against Memphis.
Army Black Knights
Trap Game: at Hawaii, Dec. 1
Army led the country in rushing yards last season. That is always a good thing when it comes to avoiding that trap game.
Everybody knows that the biggest game of the season for the Black Knights is the battle with Navy. This year will be no different. The only question mark is: Will Army be ready the week before during a road game against Hawaii?
Playing there is never easy, particularly with Navy on the horizon. Is Army going to treat this like a vacation or a game? That is the question.
Trap Game: vs. Arkansas State, Sept. 7
Arkansas State might be better than Auburn, but with how challenging the Tigers' schedule is, this could be one of the few winnable contests.
It is the second game of the season, one week before the first SEC contest against Mississippi State.
If the Tigers have any hopes of picking up enough wins to qualify for a bowl game, this is a game they will need to get.
Ball State Cardinals
Trap Game: at Western Michigan, Oct. 19
Ball State will likely have one of the best offenses in the MAC, but the schedule toward the end of the season is not doing it any favors.
The second half of the year features games against Toledo, Virginia, Kent State, Central Michigan and Northern Illinois. Sandwiched right in there is a road trip to Western Michigan
The Broncos only won four games last year but are playing the Cardinals at the perfect time. The game is a week after a huge home date with Kent State.
Trap Game: vs. Louisiana-Monroe, Sept. 21
Baylor nearly lost last season to Louisiana-Monroe. The Warhawks had the Bears on the ropes but let it slip away.
This year the game comes at a difficult time for Baylor, one week before the nine-game Big 12 slate begins.
It is also early in the season, so the Bears will still be trying to break in new quarterback Bryce Petty. West Virginia awaits the following week for Baylor.
Boise State Broncos
Trap Game: vs. Air Force, Sept. 13
Boise State will be playing in a competitive Mountain West Conference, and one big game comes against Air Force on a Friday night.
This game is a week before a huge road trip to Fresno State.
The Broncos are not a team that typically stumbles in a game they shouldn't, but this could be one of those occasions if they are not careful.
Boston College Eagles
Trap Game: vs. Army, Oct. 5
Boston College only won two games last season. There are not a lot of winnable contests on the schedule this year. But one of those games is a home contest against Army before ACC play really heats up.
The problem for the Eagles is this game falls between Florida State and Clemson.
While Army might be one of the easier games on the schedule, if the Golden Eagles are not careful, they could fall like they did last season.
Bowling Green Falcons
Trap Game: at Miami, Nov. 5
Bowling Green is another solid MAC squad that faces a very challenging schedule during conference play.
The Falcons have a road contest on a Tuesday night in Oxford against Miami that they better be careful with. The game comes a week after Toledo and a week before Ohio.
Miami always gives teams fits, and this one might be no different.
Trap Game: at Miami, Nov. 19
Miami appears once again in another Tuesday night showdown.
While Buffalo might be even be the favorite in this road contest, the Bulls have continued to improve and could be knocking on the door of a .500 season in 2013.
This is the second-to-last game of the year. The week before, the Bulls take on Toledo on the road. The final game of the season comes against Bowling Green.
No question that this could have bowl implications, making it a must-win for Buffalo.
Trap Game: vs. Middle Tennessee, Sept. 27
BYU plays a very challenging schedule all season long. The Cougars take on some big-name programs, including Texas, Notre Dame, Boise State, Wisconsin and Georgia Tech among others.
One game that might come up to bite the Cougars if they are not careful comes early in the season against Middle Tennessee.
The Blue Raiders are no pushover. This comes a week before a road trip to Utah State. BYU better not be looking ahead.
California Golden Bears
Trap Game: at Colorado, Nov. 16
Everybody knows the most important game of the season every year for California comes against Stanford. It is the final game of the season and on the road, making it that much more challenging.
The week before the "Big Game," the Bears take on a Colorado team that has struggled mightily in recent years.
Colorado is at home, and California also did not look good for most of last season. This could be an upset in the making.
Central Florida Knights
Trap Game: at Memphis, Oct. 5
Central Florida has a surprisingly very tough schedule with games against South Carolina, Penn State, Louisville and Rutgers.
One game the Knights need to look out for comes against Memphis. The game is between South Carolina and Louisville. Those are the two most challenging dates on the schedule.
The contest with Memphis also comes on the road. A loss could seriously hurt this team's bowl chances.
Central Michigan Chippewas
Trap Game: at Miami, Oct. 5
Central Michigan will be looking to improve on a bowl berth from 2012.
The Chippewas will need to win the games they are supposed to in order for that to happen. One of those games comes early in the season on the road against Miami.
It is sandwiched between road contests against North Carolina State and Ohio. Clearly three losses in a row is not something the Chippewas want.
Trap Game: at Houston, Nov. 23
The two most challenging games on the schedule for Cincinnati are against Rutgers and Louisville to end the season. Sandwiched between those is a road game against Houston.
The Cougars struggled last season but are no stranger to putting points on the board.
If the Bearcats are not careful, this could be a game they slip up with.
Trap Game: at Syracuse, Oct. 5
Clemson has three extremely challenging games on its schedule, but besides that, the Tigers should have no problem running the table.
One team that could trip them up is Syracuse. The Orange will be missing a lot from last season but are always very tough at home.
Clemson has not seen them, as they are new to the ACC, but this could be an upset if the Tigers are not careful.
Trap Game: vs. Central Arkansas, Sept. 7
There are not very many games where Colorado is going to be the favorite coming in, but Week 2 against Central Arkansas is almost certain to be one of them.
The first game of the season comes against in-state rival Colorado State, and the third game is against a very talented Fresno State team, so a letdown could be in order if the Buffaloes are not careful.
Colorado needs to get this one because after Central Arkansas the schedule gets very challenging.
Colorado State Rams
Trap Game: vs. UTEP, Sept. 28
Colorado State is another team that struggled last season, only winning four games.
The Rams have some very winnable games on the schedule, with one of those coming against UTEP very early in the season.
It is between two very challenging games against Alabama and San Jose State. Colorado State would be well advised not to overlook the Miners.
Trap Game: at Buffalo, Sept. 28
Buffalo has continued to improve in recent years. The Bulls will be much better this season and are playing Connecticut at the wrong time for the Huskies.
The contest comes between home games against Michigan and South Florida.
The Huskies struggled mightily last season and should not take the Bulls lightly, or it could come back to bite them.
Duke Blue Devils
Trap Game: vs. Navy, Oct. 12
Duke was impressive in the early going last year, reaching a bowl game and going 6-6 in the regular season.
To duplicate that feat in 2013, the Blue Devils are going to have to win those non-conference games.
One of those is against a talented Navy team. This game comes a week before back-to-back road games against Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Wining this home game is a must for Duke in 2013.
East Carolina Pirates
Trap Game: vs. UAB, Nov. 16
East Carolina plays a few challenging games this season, but two of the tougher matchups come toward the end of the season.
Those two games are against Tulsa and at North Carolina State. Between those two games is a date with UAB.
The Blazers struggled last season, only winning three games, but the Pirates need to not overlook them in this one.
Eastern Michigan Eagles
Trap Game: at Buffalo, Oct. 5
Eastern Michigan was awful last season. The Eagles only managed to win two games, including one in the MAC.
This season the schedule is not doing it any favors with a challenging conference slate along with road trips to Penn State, Rutgers and Army outside of the league.
One game Eastern Michigan will need to look out for comes against Buffalo. This is a road contest right in the middle of a very challenging schedule. The Bison will be much improved in 2013.
Trap Game: at Missouri, Oct. 19
If the Florida Gators are going to improve on last season's win total, they have to win all of the games they are supposed to.
One of those games is a road contest against Missouri.
It falls right between LSU and Georgia. Those are two of the toughest games on the schedule for Florida, but Missouri is no slouch.
The Tigers struggled last season during their first in the SEC, but if quarterback James Franklin stays healthy, this could be a tough team to beat.
Florida Atlantic Owls
Trap Game: at UAB, Oct. 5
Florida Atlantic is another team that will not be favored in a lot of its games, but one of those should be a road game at UAB.
The Blazers are the fifth of six road games to start off the season for the Owls.
No doubt Florida Atlantic will have to stay focused in order to win the game and finish the tough stretch to open the season on a winning note.
Florida International Golden Panthers
Trap Game: at Southern Miss, Oct. 5
Florida International will not be picked to win many of its games, but one team it will be favorite against is likely Southern Miss.
The Golden Eagles did not win a game last season but could not possibly get any worse.
The Southern Miss game is toward the beginning of the season but comes after a challenging non-conference slate featuring Maryland, Central Florida and Louisville.
Losing this game to start off Conference USA play is not something the Golden Panthers want to do.
Florida State Seminoles
Trap Game: vs. Nevada, Sept. 14
Florida State starts off the season and ACC play with a road game against Pittsburgh. The Seminoles follow that up with a home game against Nevada.
The Wolf Pack have proven to be no slouch in recent years, and this season appears to be no different.
Coming off a big ACC matchup on a Monday night, the Seminoles better be ready, or Nevada could ruin its season before it even really begins.
Fresno State Bulldogs
Trap Game: at Wyoming, Nov. 9
Fresno State has a lot of talent coming back this season, led by quarterback Derek Carr.
There are some challenging games on the schedule, but one that could turn out to be very tricky is a road date with Wyoming.
The Cowboys are no pushover, particularly at home. Fresno State better bring it, or this could be an upset in the making.
Trap Game: at Vanderbilt, Oct. 19
The Georgia schedule is not doing the Bulldogs any favors. There are some very challenging games, including schools like South Carolina, Clemson, LSU and Florida.
One trap game right in the middle of the season is a road trip to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt.
The Commodores might be built for success in the long run. There is almost certain to be a lot on the line in this one. With how hot Vanderbilt got last season toward the end of the year, Georgia better watch out.
Georgia State Panthers
Trap Game: at Texas State, Oct. 19
It is not going to be an easy season for Georgia State as it transitions from FCS to the FBS level.
After all, the team only won one game last season in the Colonial Athletic Association.
This season, there are some difficult games, but one to watch out for is a road trip against Texas State. The Bobcats were in their first season at the FBS level last year and would certainly like to welcome the Panthers in with a loss.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Trap Game: at Virginia, Oct. 26
Georgia Tech is a team that relies heavily on the run game. Virginia has a defense that is capable of slowing down that attack.
If the Cavaliers can force a turnover or two, this game could be closer than most would expect.
While Virginia struggles to put points on the board, the defense should be able to hold it down against the Yellow Jackets offense.
Trap Game: at UNLV, Oct. 12
It is never easy to go all the way to Hawaii for a road game, but the same can be said for Hawaii going on the road.
There are plenty of challenging game where the Warriors will likely be annihilated, but one contest it could win comes on the road against UNLV.
The Rebels only won two games last season but have the ability to knock off Hawaii.
Trap Game: at UTSA, Sept. 28
UTSA is no pushover, as it proved last season during its first season at the FBS level.
This year the Roadrunners are one of the easier games on the Houston schedule but are still not a team to be overlooked.
Houston has a lot of questions to answer, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, and in the running game with Charles Sims deciding to transfer.
Trap Game: vs. Texas State, Nov. 2
Idaho was one of the worst teams in the country last season, only winning one game all year.
The Vandals struggled on both sides of the ball, but one game the team should win comes against Texas State toward the end of the season.
The Bobcats are no pushover, as mentioned earlier, and if Idaho wants to win more games than it did last season, this is one it needs to be ready for.
Illini Fighting Illini
Trap Game: at Indiana, Nov. 9
Illinois was downright awful last season. There are not a lot of sure-fire wins on the schedule this season, but one game that appears very winnable is a road contest against Indiana.
The Hoosiers were actually better than the Fighting Illini last season, but that is not likely to be the case once again.
The game against Indiana comes in the middle of the toughest part of the Big Ten schedule. Indiana is not a team to be overlooked.
Trap Game: vs. Bowling Green, Sept. 14
Indiana does not appear likely to win more than one or two Big Ten games. The Hoosiers need to win every non-conference game in order to knock on the door of bowl eligibility.
Bowling Green is no pushover, and the Hoosiers have the Falcons at home.
Indiana started last season strong, but to duplicate that feat, it should not overlook this MAC foe.
Trap Game: at Minnesota, Sept. 28
The struggles of Iowa at the end of the 2012 season were well documented, as the Hawkeyes lost their final six games of the year.
There is a tough stretch in October in 2013, but one game that is a must-win comes right before that stretch against Minnesota.
The Golden Gophers proved they were no pushover last season, but Iowa will likely be the better team in 2013.
Iowa State Cyclones
Trap Game: vs. Kansas, Nov. 23
Kansas is a team that failed to win a Big 12 game last season. That might end up being the case once again in 2013.
Iowa State plays at Oklahoma the week before and follows up the game against Kansas with a road trip to Morgantown to take on West Virginia.
The Cyclones could easily be caught overlooking Kansas and fall victim to the Jayhawks. After all, it almost happened to Texas last season.
Trap Game: at Rice, Sept. 14
Kansas only won one game last season. The schedule this season is very challenging, particularly after the first two games.
The Jayhawks open the season with a winnable game against South Dakota and then travel to Texas to take on Rice.
The Rice Owls reached a bowl game last season but are not on par with hardly anybody in the Big 12. If Kansas gets caught looking ahead, this could be yet another loss.
Kansas State Wildcats
Trap Game: vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Sept. 7
Kansas State plays an extremely challenging non-conference schedule with the exception of the second game of the season against Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Wildcats are likely to be down from 2012 with the loss of quarterback Collin Klein.
Louisiana-Lafayette is no pushover. This game could go either way, so the Wildcats better be careful. A loss here could be devastating to bowl hopes before conference play even begins.
Kent State Golden Flashes
Trap Game: at Western Michigan, Sept. 28
Kent State has an extremely challenging schedule at the beginning of the season, and a road trip up north to Western Michigan is sandwiched right in the middle.
Early-season challenges include games against Bowling Green, LSU and Penn State. Then after Western Michigan, the Golden Flashes take on Northern Illinois and Ball State.
This road game could trip up the Golden Flashes, if they are not careful.
Trap Game: vs. Western Kentucky, Aug. 31
Usually trap games are not found the first week of the season, but that is the case for Kentucky. The Wildcats lost in dramatic fashion last season to in-state rival Western Kentucky. They will be looking to enact revenge this year.
It will be the first game of the Mark Stoops era in Lexington. Emotions can certainly run high when that is the case.
There are plenty of big games ahead on the schedule, and the Hilltoppers have the talent to come out with another victory if Kentucky is not careful.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Trap Game: at Kansas, Sept. 21
Louisiana Tech was the much better team last season, but 2013 could have something different in store.
The Bulldogs lost a lot from last season, including their head coach Sonny Dykes. If Kansas can win its first two games of the season against South Dakota and Rice, this could be huge for the Jayhawks.
A loss here could be devastating for Louisiana Tech so early in the year.
Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin' Cajuns
Trap Game: at Western Kentucky, Oct. 15
Louisiana-Lafayette finished second in the Sun Belt last season. This year it will be looking to improve on that.
The biggest game of the season comes at Arkansas State, but the week before the Rajin' Cajuns take on Western Kentucky.
The game is on the road, and the Hilltoppers are always a threat, particularly at home. Louisiana-Lafayette better not be caught looking ahead.
Trap Game: at Troy, Oct. 31
Anything can happen on Halloween. That is something Louisiana-Monroe needs to be on the lookout for this season.
The Warhawks take on a Troy team for a Thursday night game in a battle that could have conference title implications.
Similar to Louisiana-Lafayette, the Warhawks better not get caught looking ahead to next week's opponent Arkansas State.
Trap Game: vs. Ohio, Sept. 1
Louisville has received a lot of recognition since its Sugar Bowl victory over Florida. Some of that is well deserved, but this team could get a big head before the season begins.
The Cardinals start off the season against an Ohio team that was in the top 25 for part of last season. The Bobcats return plenty of talent, including running back Beau Blankenship and quarterback Tyler Tettleton.
That combination could give Louisville fits in the season opener if the Cardinals are not careful.
Trap Game: vs. Kent State, Sept. 14
LSU might struggle early in the season, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, with so many early departures to the NFL draft.
That might benefit a talented Kent State team that has a lot coming back, particularly in the backfield.
The Golden Flashes can put points on the board, and the new LSU defense will be tested big time in this one.
Marshall Thundering Herd
Trap Game: at Middle Tennessee, Oct. 24
It is never easy to win on the road in college football, particularly when it is the second of two straight.
That is the case for Marshall in late October when it plays new conference mate Middle Tennessee.
The Blue Raiders are new to Conference USA. They have enough talent not only to win a bowl game, but also to knock off Marshall by controlling the ball with a rushing attack that averaged 176.7 yards a game last season.
Trap Game: vs. Syracuse, Nov. 9
Syracuse is new to the ACC and has a lot to replace. Maryland is undoubtedly going to be improved in 2013, but the Orange always give teams fits.
Maryland should be in bowl contention if it can stay healthy at the quarterback position.
This game is sandwiched between Syracuse and Virginia Tech, so it could serve as a bit of a distraction for the Terrapins if they are not careful.
Trap Game: vs. Akron, Nov. 16
Massachusetts did not fare well last season during its first at the FBS level. The Minutemen only managed to win one game all year long.
This year they might be a little better, but they still have a ways to go.
One trap game could come against Akron late in the year. The Zips are going to be looking for wins, and the Minutemen need to be ready to play in order to avoid that.
Trap Game: vs. Duke, Sept. 7
Memphis is definitely not going to be expected to win many games, particularly in a new conference.
The first game of the season against Duke could be a big one. The Tigers have in-state rival Middle Tennessee the following week, meaning this game might not seem quite as important.
That might not e good news for a team that needs to get off on the right foot.
Trap Game: at South Florida, Sept. 28
South Florida is a team that has been known to give teams like Miami fits, particularly early in the season.
This year could be no different, as a very talented Miami team could be caught looking ahead to ACC play, which starts the following week.
The Hurricanes have a balanced offensive attack, but South Florida has the team speed to hang with them.
Trap Game: vs. Akron, Oct. 19
Miami plays four straight games against in-state MAC foes, beginning with Akron. The other three games are against much better teams, but if the Redhawks not careful, Akron is a team that could knock them off.
Miami lost plenty of talent from last season, but by this point in the year should have things under control.
A loss here could be potentially devastating to the season.
Trap Game: at Connecticut, Sept. 21
Michigan is a team that will likely be heavy on the run this season. The Wolverines might not put up as many points as in past seasons but will still be a factor in the Big Ten.
The final non-conference game comes on the road against Connecticut. The Huskies struggled to run the football last season, but with running back Lyle McCombs back, they should be improved.
If Connecticut can control the ball a little bit, this game could be an upset in the making, particularly with the Huskies at home.
Michigan State Spartans
Trap Game: at Iowa, Oct. 5
One of the biggest games of the season for Michigan State comes against Notre Dame in late September.
The following game, the Spartans take on Iowa on the road to kick off Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes will be markedly better on offense, after the team struggled last season, particularly at quarterback.
This could be one of those low-scoring games that comes down to a field goal in the final seconds. Needless to say, it could go either way.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Trap Game: vs. Marshall, Oct. 24
The schedule is very challenging early on for the Blue Raiders. A game against Marshall is the last really difficult game of the season.
The Thundering Herd have a passing attack that is not easy to stop, led by quarterback Rakeem Cato.
Middle Tennessee struggled at times last season on defense. Marshall could expose that.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Trap Game: vs. San Jose State, Sept. 21
San Jose State has a lot of talent and will likely be a favorite or very close in this one. The Spartans have one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country in David Fales.
Minnesota is going to have to play at a high level to come out on top in this one.
The Golden Gophers overachieved in 2012, but if they plan on returning to a bowl game, this is a game they are going to have to win.
Ole Miss Rebels
Trap Game: at Auburn, Oct. 5
Ole Miss came on strong last season. Head coach Hugh Freeze has put together an excellent recruiting class to help improve a team that went to a bowl game last year.
There is a lot of youth on the team but also plenty of experience to go along with it.
One game the Rebels needs to watch out for is Auburn on the road. The Tigers will be looking to get back on track, and the Rebels will be playing their fourth road game out of five to start off the season.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Trap Game: vs. Kentucky, Oct. 24
Mississippi State plays an interesting schedule, with non-conference games against Oklahoma State and Bowling Green.
One game the team needs to look out for is Kentucky. The Wildcats might be dangerous by this point in the season.
The Bulldogs struggled on offense at times last season. That could play right into the hands of the Wildcats.
Trap Game: vs. Toledo, Sept. 7
Toledo is a very dangerous team. The Rockets return a ton of talent on offense, including running back David Fluellen and quarterback Terrance Owens.
Missouri will be looking to rebound after a five-win season in 2012.
The Toledo offense was one of the best in the MAC, and Missouri allowed over 28 points a game last season. That is not a good combination for the Tigers.
Trap Game: at Western Kentucky, Sept. 28
Western Kentucky is a team that falls into the trap category for a few teams.
The Hilltoppers have enough talent to beat anybody but are unknown enough to get overlooked by many.
The Midshipmen play an array of talented teams. This could be one of those that they overlook. Western Kentucky has no problem taking a page out of the Navy playbook and controlling the ball.
Trap Game: vs. Northwestern, Nov. 2
Nebraska plays an interesting non-conference schedule, and has some challenging Big Ten games to go along with it.
One of those games comes midway through the season against a Northwestern team that might be one of the best in the league.
The Wildcats love to run the football and control the ball. That might spell trouble for Nebraska if it is not careful.
Nevada Wolf Pack
Trap Game: vs. Air Force, Sept. 28
This game could be a battle of two teams who love to run the football. Nevada was seventh in the country last season, averaging 271 yards a game on the ground.
That could be much of the same story this year, as the Wolf Pack should be a factor once again in the Mountain West Conference.
Air Force is going to have a legitimate shot to win this game, by running the ball against a defense that could use a little work.
New Mexico Lobos
Trap Game: vs. UTSA, Aug. 31
New Mexico is a team that not a lot is expected out of. The Lobos have struggled in recent years but should be able to pick up a win or two to start off the season.
The first game of the year comes against a UTSA team that won a handful of games last season during its first in the conference.
The Lobos were one of the worst passing teams in the country last season. That will need to improve in order to beat the Roadrunners.
New Mexico State Aggies
Trap Game: vs. Idaho, Nov. 30
New Mexico State is not likely to put together a bowl season in 2013, but the team might improve on its one win from 2012.
The final game of the year comes against Idaho. That is a week after going on the road to face Florida Atlantic.
Sometimes at the end of the season when there is no bowl game on the horizon, teams begin to look ahead to the offseason.
That could be the case here.
Northern Illinois Huskies
Trap Game: vs. Ball State, Nov. 13
This is a Wednesday night game that could be important when it comes to the MAC standings.
Both teams made bowl games last year, and that might be the case once again in 2013.
Northern Illinois has one of the biggest games of the season against Toledo the following week. If the Huskies are caught looking ahead, this is a game that could come back to haunt them.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Trap Game: vs. Middle Tennessee, Sept. 7
This game is sandwiched between road trips to South Carolina and Georgia Tech to kick off the season.
That might not be good news for North Carolina, as the Tar Heels will be trying to develop a running game after the early departure of Giovani Bernard to the NFL.
The Blue Raiders like to run the football. That could be key to keeping the ball away from North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner.
North Carolina State Wolfpack
Trap Game: at Wake Forest, Oct. 5
North Carolina State has the advantage of playing its first four games of the season at home.
The first road game will come against a Wake Forest team that only manged to win five games last season.
The Demon Deacons will be hungry to get back to a bowl game. Couple that with the fact that this is the first road game of the season, and that makes for quite an upset combination.
North Texas Mean Green
Trap Game: at Tulane, Oct. 5
The Mean Green have a grueling three-game stretch at the beginning of the season with games against Ohio, Ball State and Georgia in consecutive weeks.
That is followed up by a road contest against Tulane. The Green Wave were very disappointing last season. It is hard to imagine they will be that bad again in 2013.
Will North Texas be able to bounce back after a grueling start to the season?
Trap Game: at California, Aug. 31
For Northwestern, the non-conference schedule is not a piece of cake like it is for a lot of other teams.
The Wildcats start off the season against on the road against California. The Golden Bears only managed o win three games last season but played a lot of teams tough.
Northwestern loves to run the football, but if the Golden Bears can control the ball a little bit, this game could go either way.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Trap Game: vs. Arizona State, Oct. 5
This game will be played at a neutral location in Texas. That might bode well for an Arizona State squad that appears to be on the rise.
The Fighting Irish play USC the following game and Oklahoma the week before. Saying they might be looking ahead would certainly be true.
Notre Dame will once again have a very solid defense but will be in for a huge test against a talented Arizona State offense.
Trap Game: vs. Marshall, Sept. 14
Ohio loves to put points on the board, but the Bobcats also allow some yards through the air. That plays right into the hands of Marshall.
The teams who knocked off Ohio last season were those that could throw the football around a little bit.
Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato loves to do just that. He could be trouble for Ohio early on in the season.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Trap Game: at Northwestern, Oct. 5
Northwestern is no stranger to causing Ohio State problems. That has happened in the past. It might happen again in 2013 if the Buckeyes are not careful.
The Wildcats love to run the football. They have a talented running back in Venric Mark to do just that.
This game has the potential to be one of the most challenging on the Ohio State schedule.
Trap Game: vs. Tulsa, Sept. 14
This could be a game where the rushing attacks of both teams take over
Tulsa is a team who loves to run the football. The Golden Hurricane have a chance to control the line of scrimmage in this one.
If that happens, this will be one of those matchups that could have upset written all over it.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Trap Game: at West Virginia, Sept. 28
Oklahoma State is a team that loves to air it out. That was precisely the case last season for West Virginia, but it might be a different story in 2013.
West Virginia lost all of the key cogs from its passing attack in 2012. The Mountaineers might be concentrating more heavily on the run this season.
There are plenty of running backs who can carry the load for West Virginia. The ability to control the football, as well as the home-field advantage, might prove beneficial to the Mountaineers in this one.
Trap Game: at Washington, Oct. 12
Oregon is one of the most explosive teams in the country coming into the 2013 season.
But, once again, the Ducks will have to try not to slip up like they did last season. One game where that could happen might be at Washington.
The Huskies have plenty of talent on offense to put some points on the board. Running back Bishop Sankey has the ability to control the game. Quarterback Keith Price has plenty of experience as well. If the Washington offense shows up, Oregon might be on upset alert.
Oregon State Beavers
Trap Game: at San Diego State, Oct. 21
San Diego State is always one of the better teams in the Mountain West Conference. The 2013 season should be no different.
Oregon State excelled last year, particularly at the beginning of the season. If the Beavers want to duplicate that success from last year, they are going to have to win this game.
That is easier said than done, particularly on the road.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Trap Game: vs. Kent State, Sept. 21
Penn State might want to look out for the MAC again this season. The Nittany Lions fell victim to Ohio in the first game last season.
Kent State is more talented than Ohio was last year. This game is going to be close either way, but the Golden Flashes are not going to go away very easily. The rushing attack they possess has the potential to control this game from start to finish.
This is a battle of two very talented teams, and Penn State better not overlook Kent State.
Trap Game: at Syracuse, Nov. 23
Even though Syracuse lost a lot of talent from last year, by the end of the season, the Orange could be hitting their stride.
Pittsburgh might struggle as well early in the year with a lot of new players at the skill positions.
The Orange are always tough at home. If Pittsburgh can’t run the football with some form of consistency, it could be a game the Panthers would soon like to forget.
Trap Game: at Indiana, Nov. 30
Indiana is a team that has not made a lot of noise in quite some time, but that does not mean the Hoosiers should be overlooked.
Purdue takes on the Hoosiers in the final game of the season, which have bowl implications on the line.
The Boilermakers have a lot to work on but have the talent to reach a bowl game once again. The final two games of the season against Illinois and Indiana could allow for some complacency if they are not careful.
Trap Game: vs. Houston, Sept. 21
Rice came on strong at the end of last season on its way to a bowl game. This year the Owls will be looking to repeat, but one game they must be careful with comes against in-state rival Houston.
The Cougars are no longer in Conference USA with the Owls, but the two will still meet this season.
Rice loves to run the football, but if the Houston offense of old returns, the Rice defense, which struggled last season, could be in for a long day.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Trap Game: at Fresno State, Aug. 29
Rutgers had some huge wins last season, but this year the talent might not be there. Either way, the Scarlet Knights will be a factor in the new American Athletic Conference.
The season opener comes against a very talented Fresno State team. The Bulldogs offense might be one of the best in the country as far as the passing game is concerned.
The Rutgers defense was near the top of the nation last year. It will need to be there once again in order to pick up a win in this one.
San Diego State Aztecs
Trap Game: at UNLV, Nov. 30
San Diego State has been one of the top teams out west in recent years. The 2013 year will be no different.
The Aztecs play some very challenging opponents, but one game the team should not overlook comes at the very end of the season.
UNLV on the road will be the final game of the year. The Rebels might be looking to play spoiler for the conference title aspirations of San Diego State.
San Jose State Spartans
Trap Game: at Minnesota, Sept. 21
San Jose State plays some difficult games toward the beginning of the season, including the likes of Stanford and Utah State.
A road trip to Minnesota can be found right between those two games. The Golden Gophers are not a top-tier Big Ten team, but traveling from San Jose to Minnesota is not going to be an easy task.
The high-flying Spartans offense will need to put some points on the board against a solid Big Ten defense.
Trap Game: vs. Connecticut, Nov. 16
SMU was a solid squad in 2012, as the Mustangs qualified for a bowl game.
This year the team will be entering a new league, with some stiffer competition. There is a difficult stretch in the middle of the season against the likes of Texas A&M, TCU, Rutgers and Cincinnati. That stretch ends with a game against Connecticut.
It is easy to overlook a team like the Huskies, particularly after running through that gauntlet, but the Mustangs need to be on their game to take down a Connecticut team that will be trying to get back to a bowl game.
South Alabama Jaguars
Trap Game: at Texas State, Oct. 26
South Alabama was new to the FBS level last season. This year the Jaguars will be looking to improve on their two wins from a season ago.
One game that the Jaguars are no doubt expecting to win will come midway through the season against Texas State.
The Bobcats are no pushover. The Jaguars need to bring it against Texas State to avoid an upset here.
South Carolina Gamecocks
Trap Game: vs. North Carolina, Aug. 29
South Carolina is one of the top teams heading into the country this season. The Gamecocks start off the year against a talented North Carolina team.
This is a Thursday night game in front of a national audience. South Carolina is playing at Georgia the following week in one of the biggest games of the regular season.
Steve Spurrier and his bunch better not be caught looking ahead, or this game could come back and bite them.
South Florida Bulls
Trap Game: at Houston, Oct. 31
South Florida has struggled toward the end of the season in recent years. With new head coach Willie Taggart now in town, he will be trying to buck that trend.
One way to do that would be winning road games late in the season. An opportunity to do that happens against Houston during the second half of the year.
The Cougars may not be the most talented team on the schedule, but the Bulls cannot overlook them, particularly so late in the year after what has happened in the past.
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Trap Game: vs. Texas State, Aug. 31
Texas State is a team that has found itself on this list more than once. This could be the only game of the season where Southern Miss comes into the contest as the favorite.
The Golden Eagles are playing the Bobcats at home. This is a game they will desperately need to get, or questions will begin to arise about another winless season.
That is not what the Golden Eagles want by any stretch of the imagination.
Trap Game: vs. San Jose State, Sept. 7
Stanford begins the season once again this year against a very talented San Jose State team. Last year the Spartans gave Stanford all it could handle before falling in a close game.
This year the Spartans will be looking to enact revenge in the season opener against what should be an excellent Stanford team.
The Spartans offense will give Stanford all it can handle in this one. The Cardinal better not be looking ahead to the Pac-12 slate.
Trap Game: vs. Boston College, Nov. 30
Syracuse came on strong last season to win a share of the Big East title. That is not likely to be the case this season in the ACC.
The final game of the year against Boston College could have bowl implications for the Orange if all goes well.
The Golden Eagles are one of the weaker teams in the ACC but are certainly not going to want to go down against a team new to the league, particularly if Syracuse is playing for its bowl life.
TCU Horned Frogs
Trap Game: at Iowa State, Nov. 9
TCU is a team that might be in contention for the Big 12 title if quarterback Casey Pachall can return to his old form.
There are some possible stumbling blocks for this team if it does not watch out. One of those games could come toward the end of the season at Iowa State.
The Cyclones are not going to be what they were on the defensive side of the ball last season but have the talent to hang with TCU and upset the Horned Frogs at home.
Trap Game: at Memphis, Nov. 30
There are not going to be a lot of games where Temple is the favorite, but one of those is likely to be a road game against Memphis to close out the season.
If the Owls have any bowl aspirations, they are going to have to win this game against the Tigers.
Temple will likely be the favorite coming in, but it might all come down to what the team is playing for at this point of the season.
Trap Game: at Kentucky, Nov. 30
It is not often that Tennessee worries about a team like Kentucky, but that might be the case at the end of the season.
The Vols go on the road to close out the year against Kentucky. The Wildcats are almost certain to be improved over last season.
Tennessee could be playing for its bowl life. In typical years, this would be a game that Tennessee would pencil in as a victory. This year that might not be the case, however.
Trap Game: at BYU, Sept. 7
The Texas Longhorns have two tricky non-conference games early in the season. The first of those is a road date against a very talented BYU squad.
The Cougars have an excellent defense led by linebacker Kyle Van Noy. He has the potential to give Texas quarterback David Ash fits.
For the Longhorns, the secondary will be the key, as the very talented Cody Hoffman will be tough to cover from his wide receiver spot.
This game could go either way, and Texas better be ready.
Texas A&M Aggies
Trap Game: at Ole Miss, Oct. 12
Texas A&M is not a team that is going to sneak up on anybody in the SEC this season. That might have been the case in 2012, but the Aggies will have a huge target on their back this year.
Midway through the season, they take to the road to do battle with a very talented Ole Miss team. The Rebels have enough talent to hang with virtually anybody in the country.
The offense for Ole Miss will be able to move the ball against Texas A&M. This could be closer than expected with the home-field advantage for the Rebels.
Texas State Bobcats
Trap Game: vs. Georgia State, Oct. 19
Texas State will be entering its second season at the FBS level and will play its fair share of lower-level teams.
That makes for plenty of trap games. One of those comes against new FBS school Georgia State.
The Bobcats would certainly like to welcome the Panthers to the big time. That might be easier said than done, as this is another team that cannot be overlooked, even if they are new to the FBS level.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Trap Game: at SMU, Aug. 30
Starting off the season on the road is never something that is easy to do. That is exactly what Texas Tech is going to have to deal with this season.
The Red Raiders begin the year on the road against a talented SMU team.
This could be a shootout between two teams that are not strangers to putting points on the board. The Red Raiders could be in trouble with their season-opener.
Trap Game: at Bowling Green, Oct. 26
Toledo is almost certain to be one of the better teams in the MAC. There are some challenging games on the schedule. One of those comes midway through the season against Bowling Green.
The Falcons will be a solid squad once again in 2013. This game is sandwiched between a handful of relatively easy games bunched together in the middle of the season.
The Rockets need to get this one if they plan on contending for the MAC title.
Trap Game: at Georgia State, Oct. 12
Troy won five games last season. This year, there is a chance the Trojans could be in the bowl conversation. There are some very winnable games on the schedule. One of them appears to be a game midway through the season against Georgia State.
The Trojans have much more talent than Georgia State, but that does not always matter, particularly when it comes to trap games. This is certainly one of them.
Tulane Green Wave
Trap Game: at UTSA, Nov. 9
There are not a lot of winnable games on the Tulane schedule, but the Green Wave does face a few teams who are new to the FBS level.
One of those teams is UTSA. The Roadrunners surprised some people with the success they had last year. Head coach Larry Coker has this team headed in the right direction.
The Green Wave are going to have to win games against teams like this in order to be in the bowl conversation.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Trap Game: vs. Rice, Oct. 26
Tulsa plays a very challenging non-conference schedule this season. The Golden Hurricane takes on the likes of Oklahoma, Bowling Green and Iowa State.
After that challenging start to the season, the Golden Hurricane battles Rice. The Owls could be a factor in Conference USA this season, particularly with the strong way they finished last year.
Tulsa will need to not only show up but come to play to beat Rice in the Conference USA opener.
Trap Game: at UTSA, Oct. 26
UTSA finds itself on the list once again. This time UAB could be the victim of the Roadrunners.
There are not a lot of games on the schedule that are winnable for UAB, but this is certainly one of them.
The Blazers struggled mightily on the defensive side of the ball last year but also had trouble running the football, finishing near the bottom of the country. UTSA could pull off the upset here if UAB is not careful.
Trap Game: vs. Nevada, Aug. 31
UCLA is another team with some interesting non-conference games. The Bruins start off the season against a solid Nevada team.
The Bruins might be in somewhat of a transition period with running back Johnathan Franklin no longer there. Quarterback Brett Hundley will be relied on even more heavily this year with the running game not what it was last year.
The Wolf Pack are going to be a huge challenge for the Bruins in the season opener.
Trap Game: at New Mexico, Sept. 28
UNLV is a team that is not likely to win a lot of games this year. One game that is very winnable comes toward the beginning of the season against New Mexico.
The Lobos are another team that has struggled a lot in recent years. UNLV has some challenging games at the beginning of the season, but one that is very winnable is against New Mexico.
The game is on the road, so that could be trouble for the Rebels.
Trap Game: at Arizona State, Sept. 28
USC is not going to be nearly as talented as it was last year, but there is still enough coming back for this team to be near the top 25 all season long.
There are plenty of challenging games on the schedule. One game that might not seem like much but could turn out to be very challenging is a road battle against Arizona State.
The Sun Devils are very talented. Combine that with the fact that it is a road game, and USC could be in trouble if it is not careful.
Trap Game: at Washington State, Nov. 23
Utah does not have many matchups on the schedule that could be considered trap games, but one might come toward the end of the year against Washington State.
The Utes will likely be in bowl contention in 2013. That brings about the possibility of overlooking a team like Washington State.
A lot can be said about Mike Leach, but he is an excellent coach. By that point in the season, the Cougars will be ready for whatever the Utes throw their way. Utah better be careful to avoid an upset in this one.
Utah State Aggies
Trap Game: at Utah, Aug. 29
Starting off the season against a team that only won five games last year does not seem like a difficult matchup, but when it is against an in-state rival it can be. That is the case for Utah State, as the Aggies take on a Utah team that should be improved from 2012.
The Aggies play a very challenging schedule next season, and if the Utes are not taken seriously, this is a game that could go either way, particularly due to the fact that it is on the road for the Aggies.
Trap Game: at New Mexico State, Sept. 14
The schedule for UTEP at the beginning of the year is relatively easy. The Miners begin the season with the two schools from New Mexico. They follow that up with contests against UTSA and Colorado State.
One trap game in that bunch could come the second game of the season in a road contest against New Mexico State.
The Aggies only won one game last season but should be better this year. UTEP struggled last season on the offensive side of the ball, averaging only 21.2 points a game. That could come back to haunt the Miners in this one.
Trap Game: at New Mexico, Aug. 31
UTSA might be in for a reality check this season. The Roadrunners are moving to Conference USA and will also not be playing any FCS or other lower-level schools this year.
That might severely hurt a team that managed to win eight games last season. That is certainly not going to be the case this year.
The first game of the season might be the initial reality check for the Roadrunners. It is a road trip to New Mexico to take on the Lobos. If UTSA is caught sleeping, the Lobos could easily come out on top.
Trap Game: vs. Ole Miss, Aug. 29
Vanderbilt ended very strong last season, finishing the year with seven straight wins.
The Commodores start off the season at home against a talented Ole Miss team. There is no question that Vanderbilt will be the favorite coming into this one.
Ole Miss has enough talent to easily hang around on the road. The Commodores might struggle on offense, particularly at the beginning of the season. A talented Rebels defense could take full advantage of that.
Trap Game: vs. Ball State, Oct. 5
Virginia struggled for the better part of last season, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. That might be the case once again, if something does not turn around quickly.
The Cavaliers have a few challenging non-conference games early in the season, including a road trip to BYU to start off the season followed by a home game against Oregon.
A few weeks later, the Cavaliers take on a solid Ball State team that has enough offensive firepower to put points on the board and knock off Virginia.
Virginia Tech Hokies
Trap Game: vs. Maryland, Nov. 16
Virginia Tech has an extremely easy ACC schedule. The Hokies miss both Clemson and Florida State.
Toward the end of the year, the schedule gets even easier. One game that might not be as easy as expected comes in mid-November against Maryland.
The Terrapins will always put up a fight. If they are healthy at the quarterback position, this could be a very dangerous team by this point in the season.
The is one where the Hokies better watch out.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Trap Game: vs. Louisiana-Monroe, Sept. 14
Wake Forest was yet another ACC team that struggled last season. The Demon Deacons only managed to win five games but struggled big time on both sides of the ball.
The main weakness of the team was the offense. The group ranked 116th in the country, only averaging 18.5 points a game.
Louisiana-Monroe is a team that is going to put points on the board, with a balanced offensive attack. If Wake Forest is not careful, it could be a huge loss and an awful beginning to the season.
Trap Game: at Illinois, Sept. 14
The Washington Huskies begin the season with an interesting game against Boise State. The following matchup is a long road trip to Illinois.
Even though the Fighting Illini struggled to a two-win campaign in 2012, they should be much better this season.
This game could be a bit of a letdown for the Huskies, particularly if they knock off Boise State and are looking ahead to Pac-12 play.
Washington State Cougars
Trap Game: vs. Idaho, Sept. 21
There is not really a trap game on the schedule for Washington State, as the Cougars will likely be underdogs in virtually every Pac-12 contest.
One game that might cause some issues if they are caught napping is the final non-conference matchup of the year.
It comes toward the end of September against Idaho. The Vandals may not have a lot of talent, but this will be one of the biggest games on the schedule, and one that is winnable for the Vandals.
West Virginia Mountaineers
Trap Game: at Maryland, Sept. 21
West Virginia lost a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball from its 2012 squad. It might take some time to replace those players.
The Mountaineers are likely going to run the football a lot more this season, but that might play right into the hands of a Maryland team that is solid on defense.
This is a road game, and the matchup always seems to be very close between these two teams. This is a game that could go either way early in the season.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Trap Game: vs. Troy, Oct. 26
Western Kentucky qualified for a bowl game last year. The Hilltoppers might have the talent to get back there this year.
The toughest stretch of the year comes in the middle of the season with back-to-back games against Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana-Lafayette, respectively.
After that, Troy comes to town in what could turn out to be a matchup that is tougher than expected. The Trojans might be a bowl contender in 2013.
Western Michigan Broncos
Trap Game: at Eastern Michigan, Nov. 9
Western Michigan has two very challenging games at the end of the year against Central Michigan and Northern Illinois.
A road trip to Eastern Michigan may not seem like much, but if the Broncos are caught looking ahead, it could ruin any bowl hopes they have.
Eastern Michigan only won two games last season, but Western Michigan was not much better. This game could severely damage the Western Michigan season if it loses.
Trap Game: at Iowa, Nov. 2
Wisconsin will once again feature a heavy dose of the running game all season long. The Badgers return two talented running backs in James White and Melvin Gordon.
Toward the middle of the season, Wisconsin goes on the road to take on Iowa. The Hawkeyes will be no pushover this season, and they have the size up front to slow down the Badgers rushing attack.
If Wisconsin is not careful, this could be an upset in the making.
Trap Game: at Texas State, Sept. 28
Wyoming is a team that struggled to a four-win campaign in 2012. This year might be much of the same for the Cowboys.
There are some seemingly easy games on the schedule after the season opener against Nebraska. One of those games appears to be a road trip to take on Texas State.
The Bobcats will be able to give Wyoming all it can handle if the Cowboys are not able to run the ball and control time of possession. That is something Wyoming struggled with all of last season.