September 10 2008 by Mike Mason
College football is here. Yes!
This time of year is great for three reasons. For starters, this early in the season everyone still feels like a winner (or at least that possibility is still on the table). Second, the start of college football is really the spoonful of sugar that helps us swallow the fact that summer is over. Third, who doesn't want the opportunity to sit in the autumn sun, stuff their face, and cheer themselves hoarse for their favorite teams. The college football season also brings out the need to reconnect, and maybe for the lucky few, make a pilgrimage to their favorite stadium and relive all those great memories of seasons past.
Catching a football game in the stadium of your alma mater usually means traveling. I realize that if you are a fan of Yippie Yadda University, that is the road trip you are going to take, no matter if they are picked to finish dead last. After all, a fan is a fan. But let's say you were heading out on a journey to experience the best of the best of college football and you were able to pick a different stadium and match up every week. Pile in the car, here is my dream road trip through the remainder of college football 2008! In the interest of full disclosure these picks are based on my humble opinion, my interest in the match up and the reputation for awesome college football atmosphere.
Week 3 (Los Angeles, CA): USC vs. Ohio State. It is early and some will say the rankings don't matter yet, but have there been two more dominate teams in college football over the last 7 years? This will be a good game for early season. And in sunny California to boot.
Week 4 (Knoxville, TN): Tennessee vs. Florida. The SEC knows college football and with these powerhouses you can't go wrong.
Week 5 (Lincoln, NB): Nebraska vs. Virginia Tech. Is there a purer form of college football worship than the form practiced at Husker stadium? Plus, can Nebraska start to reclaim any of its past glory this year? Tailgating must be a blast here.
Week 6 (Miami, FL): Miami vs. Florida State. These teams probably aren't in the elite this year (don't tell their fans), but the atmosphere of this game will still be electric.
Week 7 (Madison, WI): Wisconsin vs. Penn State. I would like to see JoPa in action. I have suspicions he is a cleverly designed animitron. Can anyone coach for that long? I'd like to see for myself.
Week 8 (Boise, ID): Boise State vs. Hawaii. This may not be the Boise State of two years ago or the Hawaii of last year, but they play an exciting brand of football. Ok, I just want to see the blue turf.
Week 9 (Ann Arbor, MI): Michigan vs. Michigan State. I don't know how good these teams are going to be this year, but they are playing in the Big House, which oozes college football.
Week 10 (Jacksonville, FL): Georgia vs. Florida. This game isn't played in the The Swamp (which I always wanted to say, "hey, while I was watching a game at The Swamp...". I originally had this game slated at Georgia, but as one of our commenters pointed out, this particular rivalry is played in Jacksonville every year. This match up should be stellar.
Week 11 (Baton Rouge, LA): LSU vs. Alabama. Good ole' southern smash mouth football.
Week 12 (Baltimore, MD) : Navy vs. Notre Dame. Not necessarily a strong match up and the golden luster has been scuffed at Notre Dame as of late, but it is still Notre Dame and it is still college football. Plus, I think Notre Dame might have invented college football...I get the impression they think so. Plus, Navy beat them last year for the first time in a gazillion years. Should be a fun one.
Week 13 (Spokane, WA or Columbus, OH): Washington State vs. Washington or Ohio State vs. Michigan. Rivalry games, hard to choose and you can't beat the intensity. I probably lean toward Ohio State vs. Michigan.
Week 14 (Austin, TX or Oklahoma City, OK): Texas vs. Texas AM or Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State. I can't choose this one either...maybe I could catch both in one day? I've watched Friday Night Lights. I know how important football is in Texas (I'm kidding...sort of).
Week 15 (Tucson, AZ): Arizona vs. Arizona State. In state rivalry and a PAC-10 showdown. There is a reason they play bowl games in Arizona. It is a nice place to be this time of year.
What other college football road trips are a must this season? Let us know.