- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Every season there are games that end up presenting a road block that was hard to see before the season began. TCU's title run was almost ended by Kansas and Baylor saw its undefeated run end at West Virginia.
Potential trap games are littered all over the Big 12 schedule in 2015. Here's a look at the biggest trap game of the season for each Big 12 team and a ranking of the toughest to easiest:
1. West Virginia: Oct. 10 vs. Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers' lone home game in October is sandwiched by trips to Oklahoma and Baylor. If Dana Holgorsen's team has any designs on making noise in the Big 12 this is a must-win affair. Yet, the Cowboys are the only October opponent that is not ranked in the AP preseason poll and a friendly confines of Milan Puskar Stadium make this WVU's biggest trap game.
2. Baylor: Oct. 3 vs. Texas Tech (in Arlington, Texas). Last season's meeting was a barn burner and this year might not be any different. It will be the Bears' biggest test during the first third of their season and the Red Raiders will have the confidence of knowing they hung with Baylor for much of the 48-46 Bears win in 2014. Not to mention the Red Raiders' high powered passing attack could cause problems for a Baylor secondary that was the weak link in the defense a year ago.
3. Oklahoma State: Nov. 13 at Iowa State. The Cowboys' November features home games with TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma along with the trip to Iowa State. Everyone knows Paul Rhoads' team can be tough to beat at Jack Trice Stadium and playing the game between contests with TCU and Baylor won't make this trap game any easier.
4. Texas Tech: Nov. 14 vs Kansas State. The last of 11 games in 11 straight weeks, this trap game has everything to do with the Red Raiders' long stretch without a bye as it does with the Wildcats. Add the fact Bill Snyder's team will be much further along in its search for playmakers and this point and this will be a tough home game for Tech.
5. Oklahoma: Oct. 3 vs West Virginia. The Sooners will have to fight off the temptation to overlook the Mountaineers, particularly after they ran over West Virginia during a 45-33 road win in 2014. The Red River Showdown will be just over the horizon so it could be tough for Oklahoma to recognize the threat the Mountaineers will bring to the table when they visit Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in the first week of October.
6. TCU: Oct. 16 at Iowa State. The Horned Frogs' trip to Iowa State is the last of a stretch of seven straight games including three of four on the road. Gary Patterson's team could be looking forward to getting a week off and nursing some of those lingering injuries that always pop up during a college football season. If TCU isn't on point for its trip to Ames, they could head home with a loss.
7. Kansas State: Oct. 24 at Texas. The Wildcats trip to Austin, Texas sits between home tilts with Oklahoma and Baylor. The Longhorns are tough for anyone to overlook but Oklahoma State, TCU and Oklahoma are the three games before UT.
8. Iowa State: Sept. 19 at Toledo. Stuck between the annual Cy-Hawk rivalry and the opening of Big 12 play against Kansas, Iowa State's trip to Toledo could be a difficult one. Iowa State had to battle to survive last year's meeting, winning 37-30 at home. Facing the Rockets on the road won't be an easy win by any stretch of the imagination.
9. Texas: Nov. 7 vs Kansas. A home game with David Beaty's Jayhawks is unlikely to get the blood moving for anyone in Austin. Yet the early November game is late enough that Kansas may have found some sort of rhythm and Texas will be looking forward to a final three games of West Virginia, Texas Tech and Baylor.
10. Kansas: Sept. 3 vs South Dakota State. The FCS playoff team will be a bigger problem for Beaty's first game than many expect. As a Power 5 team, Kansas should win but the Jayhawks have plenty of things to work and a locker room full of unknowns. It's a no-win first game, and potential trap game, for the new coach.