Big 12 Landmines - The Scary Letdown Games
Baylor QB Robert Griffin
Baylor QB Robert Griffin
Posted Aug 20, 2009

What are the dangerous games that every Big 12 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 12 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.

-  Colorado
- 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.

-  Iowa State
- 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.

-  Kansas
- 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.

-  Kansas State - 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.

-  Missouri - 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. 

-  Nebraska
- 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 memorable battle.


-  Baylor
- 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.

-  Oklahoma
- 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.

-  Oklahoma State
- 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 season.

-  Texas
- 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.

-  Texas Tech - 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.