The Game: Ole Miss at Tennessee
Date: November 13
The Setup: Ole Miss at LSU, November 20
It was tough picking out a trap game on the Rebels' schedule this year. None of the games really jump out with bright warning lights like what some other teams have. Kentucky might have qualified, but Ole Miss has Fresno State before and a bye week after. Three of the four toughest games are all in a row in October. That makes this one a bit of a reach (especially because the teams shouldn't be too far apart in quality), but I'm going with Tennessee.
I personally am expecting the Vols to have a rough go of it in 2010. It's hard to have a good team with as much turmoil as that program has gone through over the past couple of years. As always, Tennessee's schedule is severely front-loaded with three of the Vols' five best chances at wins (Memphis, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt) all coming in November. While UT may end up going bowling, half of the wins required to get to bowl eligibility will probably be coming in the final month.
That means Ole Miss could be going to Knoxville to face a 3-5 Tennessee team at the time. That record would not necessarily be indicative of the strength of the team, as each loss would be to someone who should comfortably make a 2010 bowl. If Ole Miss is looking ahead to its road game at secondary rival LSU the following week, then they could overlook this contest, especially due to that record.
Regardless of Tennessee's record, Neyland Stadium is always a tough place to win. There should be 100,000 orange-clad fans screaming and making life difficult for the visiting team from Oxford. If Ole Miss takes this game for granted, they could easily go down hard.