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Ranking college football’s biggest trap games in 2021

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With spring practice complete in most locations, schedule analysis continues with a look at college football’s biggest trap games in 2021.

If Lincoln Riley could have one game back last season, it would be the home loss to Kansas State, a setback that ultimately cost the Sooners a potential berth in the College Football Playoff. It was a matchup Oklahoma should’ve won as a double-digit favorite, but one that went the other way in a scenario that too often causes an elite team’s season to capsize — the dreaded trap game.

Coaches don’t acknowledge they exist and instead preach to their players that every game holds the same level of importance. But depending on where contests against unranked competition fall on the schedule, it could set up a potential landmine the favorites never saw coming. 

Looking at college football’s most-anticipated games this fall, more than half precede a matchup that counts the same in respective conference championship discussions, but doesn’t move the needle from a national standpoint — until now.

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Here’s a look at 10 games worth keeping mind — and being sure to not overlook — during the regular season for teams potentially in the College Football Playoff race:

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