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Trap games for every Pac-12 team in 2019: Will Oregon overlook Washington State again?

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Breaking down the biggest trap game for each Pac-12 team in 2019.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona - at Hawaii 8/24 - The Wildcats open the season a week early in Hawaii. The Warriors aren’t a huge threat, but this is exactly the kind of weird game that can sneak up on a team and they can lose on the road after enjoying themselves on the beach.

Arizona State - Colorado 9/21 - There are a few different kinds of trap games in my opinion. One of them is the game you didn’t play as if it was a must-win that you realize was a must-win at the end of the season. ASU’s Pac-12 opener is exactly one of those. They can’t afford to have a hangover from a road trip to Michigan State and let the Buffs steal one in Tempe.

Cal - North Texas 9/14 - North Texas isn’t a great mid-major, but they’re sandwiched between road games at Washington and Mississippi and could easily catch a beat up and/or looking ahead Cal team in Berkeley. This is one that at least could be much closer than it should be if the Bears aren’t sharp.

Colorado - Air Force 9/14 - Another form of trap game is the middle non-conference game against the solid mid-major. The Buffs have this game sandwiched between Nebraska and a road game at Arizona State and they could find themselves in a game if they don’t take it seriously.

Oregon - Washington State 10/26 - The Ducks have lost four-straight to the Cougars so they shouldn’t sneak up on them, but this game falls the week after Oregon’s showdown with Washington again, though this time in Eugene. The Ducks were so shot and emotionally-drained after they threw 10 haymakers at Washington the week before when they played WSU last year that they took a half to get going. That could happen again this year.

Oregon State - at Hawaii 9/7 - Yes, Hawaii is on here twice. Playing in Honolulu is always tricky and the Beavers aren’t good enough to overlook anyone. The Beavers will also be packing up and heading way West just a week after clashing with a good Oklahoma State team.

Stanford - at Oregon State 9/28 - Stanford opens with a nightmare tough schedule - Northwestern, at USC, at UCF, Oregon, at Oregon State, and then Washington. The one game that doesn’t fit with the rest is Oregon State, but will that mean the Cardinal will overlook them like they did two years ago and nearly lost the North because of it?

UCLA - at Arizona 9/28 - The Bruins close a nasty August/September slate with the second half of a back-to-back in Tucson a week after playing Washington State in Pullman. The Bruins might think they can take a step back after playing at Cincinnati, San Diego State, Oklahoma, and at Washington State, but they can’t. This should be a tough, tough game and they need to stay up for it.

USC - at BYU 9/14 - The Trojans have a brutal September with games against Fresno State, Stanford, Utah, and at Washington. Their best chance to come up for air is at BYU week three, but playing at Provo is pretty much never a chance to come up for air. The Trojans can’t overlook this absolute must-win game, given how tough the rest of their early slate is.

Utah - Colorado 11/30 - I like Utah so much more than the rest of the South that I could see them having the division wrapped up before the final week of the regular season. The could lead to a situation when they don’t have to win the Rocky Mountain Showdown the way they didn’t have to beat BYU in their regular season closer last year and got themselves in a big hole.

Washington - at Arizona 10/12 - Stuck right between Washington’s two most-important 2019 games (at Stanford and Oregon) is a road trip to Tucson. The Huskies have won in the desert about three times in the past 20 years and it’s never been easy, including the last time they played at Arizona in 2016 and had to go to overtime against a below-average Arizona team despite being a CFP team that year.

Washington State - Oregon State 11/23 - this game is exactly the kind of games the pre-Leach Cougars always lost the week before the Apple Cup and, squandering their bowl or bigger hopes before playing lights out in the Apple Cup. Now the opposite has happened where the Cougars have started dominating this game and not getting amped up for their rivalry game. I’m expecting that trend to change any day now and this could be the year they sleep on their pre-Apple Cup opponent.