SEC Football: 5 Biggest Trap Games Left in 2013
Rarely does a season work out the way a coach, a team's players and their fans expect it to.
LSU, Texas A&M, South Carolina and others have all played victim to some of college football's biggest upsets.
Games against supposedly middling competition can catch a team unprepared with a bad game plan and lack of motivation. Teams like Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are all still competing to prove their value and improve their bowl chances. Conditions are ripe for a trap game.
History demands that David slay Goliath.
Read on to find out which five SEC teams will find themselves vulnerable to the trap game in the final four weeks of the season.
No. 5: Georgia vs. Appalachian State (11-9-13)
The Mountaineers of FCS Appalachian State are no stranger to upsets.
In perhaps one of the most shocking upsets in sports history, Appalachian State posted a 34-32 win over fifth-ranked Michigan in the Big House in 2007.
A perennial FCS power, the Mountaineers have fallen off in recent years. So too has Michigan. And Georgia.
The Bulldogs, still fighting furiously for a chance to face the SEC Western Division champion in Atlanta, are 5-3 on the year after entering 2013 with national title aspirations. Injuries have mostly been the culprit, and players like Todd Gurley have finally returned.
Georgia is coming off a crucial, hard-fought win in Jacksonville against the Florida Gators and could be looking ahead to a road matchup against the suddenly potent Auburn Tigers next week.
While the upset is unlikely, this one's worth keeping an eye on.
No. 4: Missouri vs. Ole Miss (11-23-13)
Ole Miss has already played the role of spoiler once in a 27-24 win over the LSU Tigers.
Missouri seems to be a single win away from a likely solidification of the SEC Eastern Division title and the Rebels, sitting at 5-3, could use the win.
The Tigers are playing without starting quarterback James Franklin and while backup Maty Mauk has performed admirably, he's no Heisman candidate and the Rebel defensive backfield is an aggressive group.
Averaging an interception per game, the Rebels might be able to catch Mauk and company off guard. The Tigers will be facing a huge game against highly ranked Texas A&M the week after for the chance to go 11-1 and the Rebels will have all the motivation in the world to make sure that doesn't happen.
No. 3: Ole Miss at Mississippi State (11-28-13)
A hard-fought loss to nationally-ranked Oklahoma State. A heart-breaking final-quarter drive by Auburn. Leading LSU in the fourth quarter before losing by 33. This season hasn't been kind to Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs have won three of the last four Egg Bowls and will be needing the win to get bowl eligible. Ole Miss has a big upset under its belt and will be coming off a big game against the Tigers of Missouri.
No doubt there will be plenty of emotion in this rivalry game, which perhaps is an argument against "trap game" status. With their backs to the wall, coach Dan Mullen's Bulldogs will be playing with an intensity that might just surprise the young Rebels.
No. 2: Florida vs. Vanderbilt (11-9-13)
Much like Ole Miss, the Vanderbilt Commodores are improving and have already downed a major foe in 2013.
The 'Dores are 4-4 on the season and know that they need another couple of wins to secure their third-straight bowl and only seventh bowl appearance in school history.
The Gators of Florida are reeling from a nearly unprecedented amount of injuries and a back-breaking loss to the Georgia Bulldogs a week ago. Now effectively out of the SEC Eastern Division title race and fighting for bowl contention, the heart of the Gator could be out of this one.
This important game features teams in two similar situations on two very different trajectories. The upward-swinging momentum for Vanderbilt might just lift James Franklin's Commodores right over the Gators in The Swamp.
No. 1: Auburn at Tennessee (11-9-13)
The Tennessee Volunteers take the top spot in the most likely trap game.
Entering the season, the Vols frankly were hoping to have the kind of season the Auburn Tigers are having. After a 3-9 season a year ago, the Tigers are 8-1 and ranked in the nation's Top 10. Instead, Butch Jones' Tennessee squad is competitive yet struggling, needing to win at least two of its final three games to reach a bowl.
Conversely, new head coach Gus Malzahn has worked magic in Auburn. The Tigers' wins include Pac-12 foe Washington State and Texas A&M. Those two games, though, have been the only true tests for this suddenly explosive team.
After a convincing win in Fayetteville against Arkansas, the Tigers face the Georgia Bulldogs after this matchup. The Vols are coming off of a couple of tough losses to Alabama and Missouri and are feeling the heat to make a bowl game.
If you're looking for an upset to cap off a wild season of SEC football, look no further than Auburn's trip to Knoxville.
Follow me on Twitter @SEC_Nerd.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!