Top 10 Trap Games of 2010 College Football Season
What's a trap or sandwich game?
It's an easy game sandwiched between two difficult games. It's a game a team is favored to win, but because of a letdown from the previous week and the distraction of next week's important game, it becomes difficult to concentrate on the game, and strange things happen.
The letdown could come from using up too much energy in winning, or from the disappointment of losing.
These games have become famous for some of the greatest upsets in college football history.
In 2007 West Virginia beat a 9-2 UConn team and needed a win at home against a 4-7 Pittsburgh team to go the BCS Championship. The Mountaineers got upset 13-9 in what became one of the worst moments in West Virginia football history.
In 2006 USC just came off a 44-24 win over 10-2 Notre Dame. All they needed was win over a 6-6 UCLA and they'd go to the BCS championship. UCLA beat them 13-9 and broke an eight-game series losing streak.
This year there are a lot of good sandwich games. I have chosen 10 of the best.
No. 10 Appalachian State at Florida
This game is the 11th on Florida's schedule, and sandwiched in between South Carolina and at Florida State.
Florida could still be alive for the National Championship on Nov. 20, when they meet Appalachian State.
South Carolina always gets Florida excited because of their coach Steve Spurrier.
Florida State, a huge rival, has been ranked in the 2020 preseason polls.
Appalachian State may not be the No. 1 FCS team anymore, but they are coming off an 11-3 2009 season.
Ever since Appalachian State walked into the Big House in 2007, and knocked off a Michigan team that finished 9-4, FBS teams have been on notice.
No. 9 Southern Methodist at Navy
2010 is the year Navy is expecting big things. They're coming off a 10-4 2009 season and they've been ranked in some of this year's early polls.
There is a strong possibility that the Midshipmen will be favored in every game, and their quarterback (Ricky Dobbs) has been listed as an outside shot for the Heisman.
On Oct. 16, when SMU arrives in Annapolis, Navy could be 5-0 and have beaten the ACC's Wake Forest the week before.
Awaiting Navy in the game following SMU is Notre Dame at the Meadowlands. Need I say anymore?
Navy has beaten the Irish in two of their last three meetings.
No. 8 Louisville at Oregon State
Nobody is picking Oregon State to win the Pac-10, but nobody picked them last year and they almost pulled it off. They lost their last regular season game to arch rival Oregon in a contest to decide who'd go to the Rose Bowl.
This year's Beavers will likely be just as good as last year's team.
On Sept. 18, when rebuilding Louisville makes a call in Corvallis, OSU will have just got done with No. 8 TCU and will be waiting to play No. 2 Boise State.
No. 7 University of Miami (FL) at Duke
A lot of Hurricane fans are pointing to 2010 as the year they regain the glory. Miami finished No. 12 last year and have been ranked near the top of all the 2010 preseason polls.
On Oct. 16 they have to make a trip to Duke. This is scheduled for the week following the FSU game, and the week before they play North Carolina.
It doesn't matter what FSU's record is when they meet the Hurricanes; the game is huge.
North Carolina and Butch Davis are expected to have a good year and could seriously challenge for an ACC title. The offense has holes, but the defense has been described as possibly the best in the country.
When Miami goes on the road to play Duke, they're going to have to be mentally prepared.
No. 6 Notre Dame at Army (Meadowlands)
When Notre Dame travels to New York and plays Army in the first football game in the new Yankee Stadium, there could be a lot of excitement in the building.
If Notre Dame, which has to learn Brian Kelly's spread offense, is as good as their fans expect, they could be looking to get into a good bowl game in 2010, maybe a BCS bowl.
The Army-Notre Dame game will be played on Nov. 20. For the Irish, it will be following their game with perennial power Utah, and before their arch rival USC.
It may be difficult to take Army seriously, with USC on the horizon.
No. 5 William and Mary at North Carolina
A lot of people are saying this will be the year Butch Davis takes the Tar Heels to the next level. They feel that the defense is so good that they can challenge for the ACC as long as the offense does not lose games.
The Tar Heels beat Miami and Virginia Tech while finishing 8-5 last season.
FCS William and Mary comes to Chapel Hill on Oct. 30. This one week after the Tar Heels play at Miami, and the week before they travel to FSU.
Last year William and Mary beat the ACC's Virginia Cavaliers, and this year they are ranked highly in the FCS.
No. 4 Oklahoma at Cincinnati
This is not a true sandwich game because it's not based on the team that Oklahoma plays before Cincinnati, but it qualifies.
The Sooners, who are ranked in everyone's Top 10, host Air Force before the Cincinnati game. The week prior to Air Force they host Florida State. This is not exactly a cakewalk.
After the meet the Bearcats on Sept. 25, the Longhorns are waiting.
Don't feel sorry for Cincinnati because they lost their coach Brain Kelly. Butch Jones is going to do fine. He replaced Kelly at Central Michigan and did well, and he runs the same offense as Kelly.
Cincinnati returns just about everyone of their skilled positions.
The game is not going to be played on campus, but rather downtown at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati has been waiting for his game since Oklahoma beat them two years ago.
No. 3 Florida International @ Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh finished 10-3 last year and beat North Carolina in the Meineke Car Care Bowl; they had a real good season.
This year the Panthers are expecting to be better. They return three first-team All-Americans and a top candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
When FIU makes an appearance at Heinz Field, it will be one week after the Miami Hurricanes leave town, and a week before they travel to Notre Dame.
Don't think all resentment is gone from 2003, the year Miami pulled out of the Big East. This game will be played with emotion.
When Pitt travels to Notre Dame, the Irish will have plenty of emotion as they try for revenge of a close loss to Pittsburgh in 2009.
FIU is not intimated by playing on the road against the heavyweights. If Pitt's looking ahead to Notre Dame, they will have trouble here.
No. 2 Troy at South Carolina
South Carolina is either in most 2010 preseason polls or on the fringe. Fans might be growing a little short with Steve Spurrier and everyone is hoping this will be the break out year for the Gamecocks.
Troy, which won their conference in 2009, visits South Carolina on Nov. 20.
The Gamecocks play at Florida the week before Troy, and play arch rival at Clemson the week following.
If the Gamecocks aren't in the conference race in late November, they'll be looking to spoil someone's season.
Florida, with ex Florida coach Steve Spurrier, is always big for South Carolina, and the South Carolina-Clemson rivalry can get heated. Just ask Lou Holtz!
No. 1 Utah at San Diego State
Utah has two monster games before they go to San Diego State on Nov. 20. They play TCU on November 6 and at Notre Dame on November 13.
Utah is going to be a very good football team in 2010. The Utes lost three games last season; that's three more than they lost in 2008.
Utah is going to play a lot of smashmouth football and have two great backs to do it
Before they host in-state rival BYU, they have to make a trip to San Diego State.
The Aztecs have fallen on hard times lately but this is just the game that can get the program going again. They would love to spoil someone's party.