Trap games for BCS title contenders

Updated: August 29, 2012, 8:14 AM ET
By Travis Haney

Right now, in late August and just days before the college season opens, you know the biggest games of the year, the ones that ostensibly could shape the national championship picture: Alabama-LSU. USC-Oregon. Oklahoma-West Virginia. Florida State-Virginia Tech.

Those types of games. But although those might present the most danger for potential title contenders, sometimes it's the next tier of challenges that ends up derailing title hopes. Just ask Oklahoma (Texas Tech, Baylor) in 2011 and Alabama (South Carolina) in 2010 .

Here is a look at the games that are slightly below the radar and most likely to serve as roadblocks in the BCS championship runs of the top eight teams in the preseason AP poll.

1. USC Trojans

Obvious: Oregon, Nov. 3
Less obvious: at Utah, Oct. 4

The potential of two meetings with the Ducks is what has the West Coast buzzing, but the Trojans had better be on full alert for a Thursday night game at Utah.