The Big 12 Landmine Games
The traps to watch out for
Landmine Games For Every Team
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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.
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.
- Sept. 11 at Toledo
This is a landmine because ... There will be a major
letdown alert for the Buffs. The season opener against
Colorado State should be emotional, as always, as
the Buffs are always pushed in the heated rivalry.
They'll have a way-too-fast turnaround having to
play at Toledo just five days later. The Rockets
will have the firepower to pull off the upset if the
Colorado offense isn't working right away.
- Sept. 19 at Kent State
This is a landmine because ... The last thing the
rebuilding Cyclones need
is to deal with a road game against a MAC team with
a good defense and a runner like Eugene Jarvis.
Coming off the always big game against Iowa, it'll
be tough for the Cyclones to take the Golden Flashes
too seriously. In what should be a tough season,
this will be one game the team will mentally circle
as a win. That's a mistake.
- Sept. 12 at UTEP
This is a landmine because ... Shootout, shootout,
shootout. Call this a puncher's chance game for a
UTEP team that should be among the nation's leaders
in passing, and it could be a case of the last team
with the ball getting the win. QB Trevor Vitattoe
should be able to match Todd Reesing and the KU
passing game yard for yard.
- Sept. 12 at Louisiana - Lafayette
This is a landmine because ... Kansas State can't take
any game for granted, especially one against a Sun
Belt team looking to make a major statement.
The Ragin' Cajuns might be rebuilding after losing
their key offensive pieces, but the system is sound
and the team will be just quirky enough to pull off
the upset if Bill Snyder's squad is looking ahead to
the trip to UCLA the following week.
- Sept. 12 vs. Bowling Green
This is a landmine because ... Missouri will be good,
really good, but it could take a little while to
jell with all the turnover on offense. QB Tyler
Sheehan and Bowling Green pulled off the upset at
Pitt last year, and even though there's a new
coaching staff, this will be a MAC contender with
the firepower and talent to make this a shootout if
Mizzou is still thinking about the (likely) loss to
Illinois the week before.
- Sept. 5 vs. Florida Atlantic
This is a landmine because ... In 2007, Ball State came
in to Lincoln and came within an eyelash of pulling
off the upset, losing in a fun 41-40 shootout.
Husker fans came away raving about QB Nate Davis,
and they'll do the same this year after seeing FAU
QB Rusty Smith. The Owls are fearless road warriors,
and while they don't have enough on defense to beat
Nebraska, they're good enough to make part one of
the Husker's three-game date with Sun Belt teams a
- Oct. 17 at Iowa State
This is a landmine because ... There are living,
breathing expectations at Baylor for the first time
since the Big 12 was formed, but it could all go
kaput if the Bears lose in Ames. Coming off a trip
to Oklahoma, it could be tough to get up for a
Cyclone team that'll look at this as one of the only
honest shots at a conference win.
- Oct. 10 vs. Baylor
This is a landmine because ... It's Baylor. Baylor. No matter how much
better the Bears might be, good luck convincing the
Sooner players that this is a game worth worrying
about after going to Miami and with the biggest game
of the year to follow. OU is almost always landmine proof, but the last thing the coaching staff will want to prepare for is Robert Griffin and the Bear offense when the showdown against Texas is the following week.
- Sept. 12 vs. Houston
This is a landmine because ... Expect 100 combined
points and over 1,000 yards of total offense. The
landmine effect all depends on what happens the week
before. If Oklahoma State beats Georgia, it should
be sky high and ready to deal with Case Keenum and
the high-powered Cougar attack. If the UGA game is a
loss, the team will have a rough time getting up for
a game that will be among the best firefights of the
- Nov. 7 vs. UCF
This is a landmine because ... No, Texas isn't going to
lose this game, but Mack Brown's boys can be
forgiven if they're not exactly sharp coming off a
three game stretch against Oklahoma, at Missouri,
and at Oklahoma State. This is the lone home oasis
in a four week run with a trip to Baylor to follow.
- Texas A&M
- Sept. 19 vs. Utah State
This is a landmine because ... Book it; the Aggies will
win. The Utah State version has a dangerous,
multi-talented quarterback in Diondre Borel who
should carry the offense all by himself, while
there's loads of experience returning on both sides
of the ball. USU isn't all that great, but there's a
new coaching staff and a new attitude.
- Nov. 28 vs. Baylor (in Arlington).
This is a landmine because ... Will the Red Raiders be
getting better as the season goes on or will they
fizzle out? After dealing with a road game at
Oklahoma State followed up by a home date against
Oklahoma, Tech could be ripe for the picking by a
Bear team that should be good enough to pull off the
upset ... even though it wouldn't be a major one.