Trap games are losses that sneak up on teams. For LSU in 2013, its biggest trap games come in the form of SEC opponents.
Most LSU Tiger fans have three games circled on the 2013 schedule—Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M. These are highly anticipated bouts, but are they the most dangerous games on the schedule? Chances are the Tigers will be hyped and ready to go in each of these three marquee games.
What about contests against inferior competition?
Which matchups will be the Tigers' biggest trap games of the season?
We've seen this story unfold before.
Let's go back to 2007. National championship hopes were on the minds of the LSU players as they took on an unranked Arkansas team at home.
The Tigers engaged in a close battle with the Hogs and Arkansas won the game in triple overtime, nearly erasing any opportunity for LSU to play for a crystal ball. That story miraculously had a happy ending for LSU fans, as the Tigers finished the regular season at No. 2 after some unpredictable upsets.
In 2013, Arkansas will more than likely be unranked when it plays at LSU again. The Razorbacks are in rebuild mode, but the Hogs' 34-14 win over UL Lafayette in Week 1 showed some bright spots.
Can first-year head coach Bret Bielema build off them and pull off the biggest upset in his career?
Furthermore, can Arkansas repeat a 2007 storyline in Tiger Stadium?
Last season, the Ole Miss game would have been the No. 1 trap game for the Tigers.
This year, eh, not so much. The reason for that is the gained respect for the Rebels. After one of the best recruiting classes in the nation and an opening-weekend win at Vanderbilt, LSU won't be overlooking Ole Miss.
Still, even with those "Hotty Toddy" chants growing in number, Ole Miss is not in the upper echelon of the SEC West.
With a quarterback that's primarily a better runner than he is passer, the Rebels' passing game is far from spectacular with Bo Wallace manning the position.
The secondary looks to be a weakness once again as well, with Ole Miss allowing 300 passing yards to Vanderbilt's new starting quarterback, Austyn Carta-Samuels.
Having said all of that, this team is still capable of making a run in the SEC West. Immense talent is spread throughout the field when Ole Miss plays, but because of a top-heavy schedule, LSU could play an Ole Miss team that sports three or four losses.
To avoid being upset, the Tigers can't read too far into that loss column.
Mississippi State is going in the opposite direction.
After Dan Mullen came in and lit a fire under a program that desperately needed it, that flame has seemingly extinguished. Unfortunately, that's life in the SEC. Under Mullen, the Bulldogs can't seem to get past nine wins in a season or beat a ranked opponent.
As for 2013, well, the Bulldogs are the only SEC West team that started the season 0-1.
Judging by last week's performance and lack of offense against Oklahoma State, the Bulldogs could be 0-2 in the SEC when they play LSU.
Mississippi State has the fortune of playing LSU at home, though. More importantly, the Bulldogs have the luxury of getting LSU after the Tigers play Georgia.
Will an emotional dip cause the Tigers to drop the ball on the road?
Look at the schedule for September.
I see you eyeing that Sept. 28 date when the Tigers play the Georgia Bulldogs. Look at the previous week. LSU plays its first SEC game of the season against Auburn on that date.
Will LSU overlook the game just as you did? It better not.
The Tigers—of Auburn, that is—had an impressive win in the first week of action, beating a wily Washington State offense 31-24.
With Gus Malzahn running the offense again and placing talents like Tre Mason and Corey Grant in a position to succeed, Auburn now has a combination of talent and coaching that could shake things up in the SEC West.
Will Malzahn and the skilled prospects he's recruited be able to take down an SEC giant in a few weeks? It's doubtful, but if LSU overlooks Auburn, anything can happen.
Will the schedule catch up to the Tigers?
The bottom half of LSU's schedule is Tiger-friendly, giving LSU a bye before tough games against Alabama and Texas A&M. The top part? Well, LSU has to play five SEC schools in a row before getting a bye, and that list includes Georgia and Florida.
The Florida game comes after the Tigers play Georgia and Mississippi State. Will LSU physically hold up for what will likely be an afternoon showdown against the Gators in Baton Rouge?
Florida is a tough, durable team that relies heavily on its running game. No team knows this better than LSU, as the Gators' ground-and-pound style conquered the Tigers in the Swamp last season.
Behind Mack Brown, who rushed for 112 yards against Toledo last Saturday, the Gators could easily capitalize on the Tigers' worn down defensive front. Because of the placement on the schedule, Florida will be the biggest trap game for LSU this season.