Will Alabama be Caught Napping Like So Many Others?
By: Larry Burton
They call it a trap game. That’s a game that teams are supposed to win, on paper, by the Las Vegas odds makers and the talking heads in the sports media, but they somehow lose.
Florida State would beat North Carolina State five out of five should they play that many more games with them this season.
But they won’t get the chance and everyone knows it.
A trap game isn’t just a loss, it’s a loss that kills the soul and spirit of a team if a coach can’t snap them out of the funk it causes. If Florida State had suffered their one loss against against say Florida, that would not be a trap game loss and it wouldn’t take the wind out of sails quite as badly.
Did Florida State relax after getting a 16-0 lead? Did they overlook a team with two losses? Did they think they wouldn’t face a team capable of beating them until they met Florida in the last game of the season?
The truth is, that we don’t know, but it’s happened to a lot of teams every year and will continue to happen as long as the game is played.
The question this article poses is, can Alabama be caught napping also and if so, who could be the culprit that pulls it off?
The Tide’s remaining games are Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi State, LSU and Texas A&M, Western Carolina and Auburn. Alabama will be favored in all of these games and only Mississippi State and LSU are thought to be the only two schools with a puncher’s chance of knocking out the Crimson Tide.
If you’re looking for a trap game, a team that may be overlooked by most but with the firepower to pull off a surprise, look no further than Tennessee.
The Vols have lost a very close game to a very good Georgia team in a game they could have just as easily won. They put up 44 points on a good SEC defense and could have had more without some dumb mistakes.
Tennessee came within a blocked field goal of ruining Alabama’s 2009 perfect season and Saban’s first BCS title at Alabama and they did it playing the Tide in Tuscaloosa. This year they have them at home.
If Tyler Bray gets red hot and the defense stiffens then all it would take would be for Alabama to commit a few turnovers or come in with their C game on the same day Tennessee gets fired up and has an A day.
Tennessee has the 17th best offense in all of college football right now, while Alabama’s offense comes in at number 69. That’s a difference of 52 teams between where the Tide is and the Vols. The other thing to consider is that they play them after beating up on Missouri team this weekend and the next game after the Tennessee game is Mississippi State. Could they be looking ahead?
OK, here’s the counter point. Alabama has the nation’s number one defense while Tennessee comes in at number 89 and yes, that’s a difference of 88. Still a team that can put up points has a puncher’s chance, especially if they are able to keep it close until near the end of the game as they did in 2009.
This could be the trap game if there is one this season that the Crimson Tide could fall victim to.
The question is not if it will happen, more than likely it won’t. But it does point to the one team that has the best chance to toppling the Tide while at the same time being a team that will be overlooked as a likely winner.