Spring practice is in the rearview mirror so now we can look forward to summer camps, and yes, the start of college football. Along with that we can also look at the schedules and try to find some of the biggest trap games in the conference.
Think about it: If Oklahoma doesn’t overlook Kansas State last September, the Sooners would’ve likely been in the College Football Playoff. Instead, they came up short.
It happens all the time, even if coaches pretend they don’t. A team with high expectations looking to make a big run and they get caught against an unranked opponent and get upset.
So here are the biggest trap games in the Big 12 Conference this fall.
Baylor vs. Iowa State, September 25th
Iowa State has CFB Playoff expectations. But the one critique of Matt Campbell that is fair is that his teams get off to slow starts in September. If Iowa State finally beats Iowa two weeks prior, then rolls over UNLV, it’s possible they’re ranked in the Top 5 for their Big 12 opener on the road in Waco. But don’t overlook the Bears, who went 2-7 last season and Dave Aranda knows he has to see vast improvement this fall or he will be under a ton of pressure. Getting a Top 5 win to start Big 12 play would do that. Iowa State can’t take the soft start of their Big 12 schedule (Baylor, KU, K-State) for granted or their CFB Playoff hopes go up in flames.
Kansas State vs. Oklahoma, October 2nd
This game is perfectly placed between a home game against West Virginia and the most anticipated showdown of the year against Texas in Dallas. Oklahoma hits the road to Manhattan for what could be one of those sleepy 11 a.m. kickoffs as a big favorite with the assumption from the national talking heads that Oklahoma wins by three touchdowns. Well as we noted earlier, Chris Klieman is 2-0 against Lincoln Riley, so you’d think OU wouldn’t get caught falling asleep on this one. However, it’s easier said than done when you see how and where this one fits on the schedule, while knowing the motivation for the Kansas State Wildcats will be through the roof for this match up against a likely Top 5 OU team.
West Virginia vs. Iowa State, Saturday, October 30th
Going to Morgantown is never easy. It’s a pain of a road trip and the WVU faithful provide a good home crowd atmosphere in Morgantown. For Iowa State, this game has trouble written all over it. The week prior is Homecoming Weekend in Ames against Oklahoma State. The following weekend is a home match up against the Texas Longhorns. This is exactly the kind of game, where if WVU is playing around .500 football, that can be way too easy to overlook. The Cyclones can’t risk that or they will end up on the opposite end of the field storming from 2018, when they upset then No. 6 WVU in Ames 30-14.
TCU vs. Texas, Saturday, October 2nd
One of these two teams is going to think of itself as the most-likely Big 12 team to crash the predicted Oklahoma-Iowa State party in the Big 12. But this is a major trap game for the Texas Longhorns. It comes a week after their Big 12 home opener under new head coach Steve Sarkisian against Texas Tech and then its a week prior to the Oklahoma game. That’s a disaster spot for UT. Factor in that TCU is 7-2 against Texas since joining the Big 12 and Coach Sarkisian better make sure his guys aren’t caught looking ahead to the Texas State Fair.
Iowa State vs. TCU, Saturday November 27th
This game is possibly stuck between the Cyclones taking on Oklahoma on November 20th, which could be a match up between two undefeated teams with the pageantry of College Gameday and much more, and another match up against Oklahoma the following week in the Big 12 Championship Game. If so, Gary Patterson would love to have his guys upset the apple cart even further and put a huge dent into Iowa State’s postseason plans.