Potential Trap Games: Week 10
It’s November, which means one thing in college football: madness. The first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week and one thing is for certain: they will change drastically by the end of November.
Since the College Football Playoff, was created only five of the initial 12 teams ranked in the top four eventually made the playoffs. Here are some of the games this week that could shake up the college football world.
No. 14 Auburn at Texas A&M
The Auburn Tigers come into this matchup with the Aggies as 15 point favorites. The Tigers control their own destiny in the SEC West and have a home matchup with No. 1 Georgia looming next week.
This is the third straight game on the road for Auburn. The Tigers already picked up their second loss of the season on this road trip as Auburn was defeated by LSU.
Auburn will be without its second leading rusher Kamryn Pettway in this game against Texas A&M. The junior fractured his shoulder in Auburn’s last game, a victory over Arkansas.
Pettway is a big loss for the Tigers as their offense is at its best when Pettway and Kerryon Johnson split carries, as Auburn relies heavily on its run game.
Texas A&M comes into this matchup following a bad loss at home against Mississippi State, where the Aggies were embarrassed 35-14.
This was the third loss of the season for the Aggies as they lost their opening game of the season to UCLA and later fell to Alabama.
The Aggies have played Alabama the toughest any team has this season. Texas A&M challenged the Crimson Tide, only losing by eight.
Kyle Field is always a tough environment for visiting teams and with Auburn possibly looking forward to its matchup against Georgia, the Aggies could pull the upset and ruin Auburn’s season.
No. 6 Ohio State at Iowa
Kinnick Stadium: a place where ranked teams fall. Last season, No. 17 Nebraska saw its season derailed in Iowa City. Then, Iowa shocked the college football world when the Hawkeyes took down No. 2 Michigan under the lights.
In 2008, No. 3 Penn State was defeated when they took the trip to Kinnick and just earlier this season the Nittany Lions narrowly avoided the upset when Trace McSorley found Juwan Johnson in the back of the end zone as time expired.
This week, No. 6 Ohio State will face the Kinnick test. The Buckeyes are coming into this game on fire following their 18-point comeback victory against previously unbeaten Penn State.
An upset is not likely in this game as Ohio State is playing its best football of the season right now and J.T. Barrett is on the rise as a Heisman trophy candidate and J.K. Dobbins is tearing defenses apart. The freshman is averaging 7.6 yard per carry.
The Hawkeyes are also struggling. Iowa lost on the road to Northwestern two weeks ago and just last week only defeated Minnesota 17-10.
All this can be thrown out the window though as nobody can predict what will happen in Kinnick Stadium.
No. 15 Iowa State at West Virginia
Iowa State is the biggest surprise this college football season. The Cyclones started off the season 2-2, with their only victories coming against Northern Iowa and Akron.
Then Iowa State overcame a 14 point deficit on the road against Oklahoma and they have not lost since. Last week the Cyclones took down undefeated unbeaten TCU to shake up the college football playoff race again.
Iowa State cannot have a hangover effect from that upset win at home though, as the Cyclones are traveling to Morgantown to take on West Virginia.
The Mountaineers have been ranked for most of this season, but following last week’s home loss to Oklahoma State, West Virginia fell from the rankings.
West Virginia have lost three games this year, all coming against ranked teams in games where the Mountaineers challenged for the victory but ultimately fell short.
West Virginia has struggled with turnovers this season, but if they limit the mistakes, they can play with the top ranked teams in the country.
Will Grier has had a great year, throwing for 2,752 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Iowa State is only allows 18.8 points per game and its defense is coming off of a great game against TCU where the Cyclones only gave up seven points.
The Cyclones will be tested again this week though in Morgantown when they face off with the explosive West Virginia offense.
No. 18 UCF at SMU
UCF is one of only five teams that is unbeaten in the FBS. Last week the FBS saw two unbeaten teams lose in Penn State and South Florida.
This week, UCF will be tested when they put its unbeaten record on the line in Dallas against SMU.
The reason for UCF’s success is its offense. The Knights are averaging 529.7 yards per game and are scoring 51 points per game.
Sophomore quarterback McKenzie Milton is leading the charge with 1,997 yards and 19 touchdown passes.
UCF though is not the only explosive offense that is going to be on display in this game.
SMU is also averaging over 500 yards per game with 507. The Mustangs are also putting up 41.5 points per game.
SMU has a 6-2 record. The only losses for the Mustangs have come at the hands of TCU and Houston and both games were on the road.
SMU has the opportunity to end another team’s unbeaten season in a game that is sure to be a shootout Saturday night in Dallas.
Ben Ferree is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.