The Conference USA 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. 26 vs. UCF
This is a landmine because ... No, the season opener
against Appalachian State isn't the one to worry
about. ECU is far better than UCF, and it should be
focused for the Conference USA opener, but after
going on the road to face West Virginia and North
Carolina, the home sandwich between four road games
could be dangerous.
- Sept. 19 vs. Bowling Green
This is a landmine because ... It's the MAC all over
again for Marshall, and it shouldn't be considered
much of an upset if the Falcons pull out the win.
Coming off a game at Virginia Tech, and with the
league opener at Memphis ahead, Marshall will have
to get ready for a shootout against Tyler Sheehan
and the BGSU attack.
- Nov. 14 vs. UAB
This is a landmine because ... Will the Blazers be
better by mid-November? Memphis had better be ready
for QB Joe Webb, and it had better have its chin up
in the midst of a brutal second half of the season.
Before dealing with the Blazers, MU goes to Southern
Miss, plays East Carolina, and goes to Tennessee.
The season ends at Houston and Tulsa.
- Oct. 24 vs. Tulane
This is a landmine because ... There was a time when
this was the big game of the Conference USA season.
Southern Miss has had issues with its consistency
over the last few seasons, and this is a perfect
opportunity to let down with a trip to Houston ahead
on Halloween night.
- Nov. 7 vs. Florida Atlantic
This is a landmine because ... There's not really a
true landmine game for the Blazers, considering
they're going to be the ones trying to upset
everyone else, but they'll look at the home game
against a Sun Belt team as chance to come up with a
win during a nasty second half of the year. Not only
does UAB have to deal with Rusty Smith and the Owl
offense, but it's the first home game after three
road dates. There are two road games to follow.
- Sept. 19 vs. Buffalo
This is a landmine because ... Will UCF really care
about the defending MAC champions after going to
Southern Miss the week before and with a trip to
East Carolina the week after? The Knights might be
worrying more about trying to stay alive in the
Conference USA race than RB James Starks and WR
- Oct. 24 vs. SMU
This is a landmine because ... SMU has the offense
(potentially) to be one of the few teams that can
keep up with the Cougars. With bigger fish to fry
against Southern Miss the following week, with a
date at Tulsa to follow, Houston had better be ready
for a firefight. Case Keenum and the attack will
come up with around 500 yards of total offense, but
Bo Levi Mitchell could throw for almost that many
for the Mustangs.
- Oct. 10 vs. Navy
This is a landmine because ... There's no such thing as
a landmine for a Rice team that should struggle this
season, but if it's not the November 14th game
against Tulane, it'll be the game with the
Midshipmen. A home game before going to East
Carolina, this is a must win for the Owls to have
any dreams of a decent year.
- Sept. 5 vs. Stephen F. Austin
This is a landmine because ... The Lumberjacks aren't
very good, but they'll have one of the nation's top
FCS passing offense. QB Jeremy Moses led the way for
a No. 3 passing attack that averaged 346 yards per
game. Needless to say, the passing total in this
game is going to be through the roof.
- Oct. 3 at Army
This is a landmine because ... Considering how rough
this year should be for Tulane, it can't afford to
blow it against an Army team that will spend the
year finding itself. Black Knight head coach Rich
Ellerson won't have worked his magic yet, and Tulane
needs to take advantage by running Andre Anderson
over and over and over again.
- Oct. 31 vs. SMU
This is a landmine because ... SMU might have been the
worst team in America last season and Tulsa still
had a problem putting the game away in a 37-31
win. This year, the Golden Hurricane will be coming
off games against Boise State and at UTEP and will
be looking ahead to Houston, East Carolina, and at
Southern Miss after dealing with the Mustangs.
Nov. 21 at Rice
This is a landmine because ... UTEP has never done well
over the second halves of seasons under Mike Price,
and the problems are likely to continue with three
road games in a road in November. The game against
Rice is the third away game in three weeks, and if
things aren't going well, it could be disaster time
for the Miners if Rice has improved.