Big East Landmines - The Scary Letdown Games
West Virginia QB Jarrett Brown
West Virginia QB Jarrett Brown
Posted Aug 20, 2009

What are the dangerous games that every Big East team needs to watch out for? These are the ones that might be sandwiched in between two bigger games, they could be the ones late in the season that will be tough to get up for, or they simply could be letdowns.

The Big East Landmine Games

The traps to watch out for

By Pete Fiutak

Landmine Games For Every Team
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It's next to impossible for a team to get up for every game over the course of the long season. It's easy to be jazzed for the big rival or the top five team, but college kids can't remain focused enough to play razor sharp for one game and then maintain the same high level again the next week for the also-ran.

Below are the very dangerous letdown games for each team. These might be sandwich games, games a team and the fans won't take seriously, the game after a big rivalry, the game before a big game, or just a game that the team just won't be stoked for and could turn into a painful loss against a weaker opponent. If you find yourself arguing that these games will be easy, you're jumping into the same trap these teams might fall into. At the very least, these could be tougher tests than your favorite team might think. Sure, the team might win the game, but it might be pushed very, very hard.

- Cincinnati
 - Oct. 3 at Miami University
This is a landmine because ... It's always a good in-state battle with many of the players knowing each other. While Cincinnati will take the game seriously, MU takes it very seriously. Coming off a tough battle against Fresno State, and with a week off ahead, it's possible the Bearcats could struggle to not look ahead to the Big East road date at South Florida.

- Connecticut
- Sept. 5 at Ohio
This is a landmine because ... Always be wary of a season opener on the road against a team with a good coach (Frank Solich) and dangerous quarterback (Boo Jackson). The Bobcats pushed Ohio State last year before they imploded, but they're just good enough defensively to provide the offensively-challenged Huskies with a big test.

- Louisville  - Oct. 31 vs. Arkansas State
This is a landmine because ... Corey Leonard is one of the best all-around quarterbacks among the non-BCS ranks with great running skills, a decent arm, and enough experience to pull off the upset. Reggie Arnold is a great runner who'll test the Cardinal defense that'll be coming off road games at Connecticut and Cincinnati and with West Virginia up next.

- Pitt
 - Sept. 12 at Buffalo
This is a landmine because ... Dave Wannstedt's teams are always good for one disastrous early performance a season (gacking to Bowling Green and Navy over the last two seasons). Buffalo isn't as good as it was last year, but it has enough dangerous playmakers to come up with a win if Pitt is sleepwalking through the first three weeks.

Rutgers -
Sept. 19 vs. FIU
This is a landmine because ... Rutgers' 1-5 start of last year. It could take a while for this year's Scarlet Knight team to find itself after losing QB Mike Teel and the stars from the passing game. FIU isn't that great, but Mario Cristobal has put together a decent enough group of athletes to catch Rutgers looking ahead to a showdown at Maryland.

Syracuse - Oct. 24 vs. Akron
This is a landmine because ...
The Zips have a dangerous enough offense to get hot for a stretch and make this a bit of a shootout. With the quirky Zip defense to deal with, new SU QB Greg Paulus will have to make plays on the move. Coming off a game against West Virginia, and an off week, SU will have to bring its full focus to get the win.

- South Florida
- Oct. 3 at Syracuse.
This is a landmine because ... South Florida has destroyed Syracuse since joining the Big East, and the trip to the Carrier Dome is the start of the conference season. However, the game at Florida State means everything to a Bull program looking for Sunshine State respect, and if the game in Tallahassee doesn't go well, it could take the entire week to start thinking about the Orange.

- West Virginia - Oct. 10 at Syracuse
This is a landmine because ...The Mountaineers were pushed by Syracuse last year in a 17-9 win, but that was a total aberration. They have dominated the Orange over the years, and even though this might be the Big East opener, it's coming off games against Auburn and Colorado and with the in-state battle against Marshall to follow. With a new coaching staff and new playmakers in QB Greg Paulus and the return of WR Mike Williams, Syracuse is the Big East's wild card.