College Football Odds: Potential Trap Games Week 5
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 9/29/2011
Two teams are coming off an emotionally charged atmosphere in Week 4 and two teams are prepared to enter an emotionally charged atmosphere in Week 6.
What happens in Week 5 is called a trap game both for LSU and West Virginia, who faced off in Week 4, Saturday night in front of a national television audience and for Texas and Oklahoma, two teams who will face off in Week 6 in front of a national television audience.
The task of the coaches of those four schools is to avoid the letdown that can come with playing in a trap game, a game a team is expected to win handily sandwiched around two marquee games.
Coming off the biggest game in more than two decades in Morgantown, the Mountaineers have to rebound from a 47-21 loss to LSU to host Bowling Green on Saturday. The very next week West Virginia will open conference play against Connecticut.
After knocking off the No. 16 Mountaineers on the road under the lights, recently anointed No. 1 LSU will have to host Kentucky this Saturday with an 11:20 a.m. local time kickoff. And waiting for LSU after the Wildcats will be Florida.
The much-anticipated Red River Rivalry is Week 6. Before the Longhorns and Sooners can get there though, they both have get through trap games. After a big win at UCLA last week, Texas now visits a weak Iowa State team.
Oklahoma is coming off a big win over Missouri. Waiting for the Sooners this week are the fighting Ball State Cardinals.
Here is a look at each team’s situation this coming Saturday.
LSU -30.5 vs. Kentucky
The Tigers have already had one trap game this year. After knocking off Oregon in an opening week showdown, LSU blasted Division I-AA Northwestern State, 49-3, knowing that major road tests at Mississippi State and West Virginia loomed. Playing in the SEC there are bound to be trap games, and Les Miles and his team have always navigated them. The Tigers are now ranked No. 1 in the country, a new distinction, and they are returning home. Even with the early start time, I expect to see an LSU team that is not looking past anyone.
WVU -19.5 vs. Bowling Green
After the emotionally draining loss to LSU on Saturday, the Mountaineers have to pick up the pieces and get ready to play a nonconference game against Bowling Green. This game comes one week before opening up Big East Conference play against Connecticut. Head Coach Dana Holgorsen is new in town, but a lot of the players have been around before and this group has a reputation of sleep-walking through some day games they should win easily. This could be one of those trap games where you have to consider the underdog.
Oklahoma -37 vs. Ball State
The Sooners have been in this situation before. They handled Iowa State, 52-0, last season in a game that was sandwiched around showdowns against Missouri and Texas. They blasted Baylor, 53-24, just weeks before a huge rivalry game at Oklahoma State. And their bowl game, the Fiesta Bowl last year, was even a trap game, and the Sooners showed up and thumped Connecticut, 48-20. No worries about anyone from Oklahoma looking ahead.
Texas -9.5 at Iowa State
The Longhorns have the toughest game out of the selected bunch, and that is bad news for Texas fans. Mack Brown teams traditionally falter in these situations. Last year as 15.5-point favorites against UCLA a week before the Oklahoma game, Texas lost by 22! In 2007 a near identical scenario played out as Brown and Texas were 15-point favorites at home against Kansas State, just a week before the Oklahoma game. Texas lost by 20! The Longhorns have only covered one point spread since 2006 in the week before the Red River Rivalry.
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