Happy Monday, everyone! In case you’ve forgotten, we now have T-minus Bishop Sankey days until the start of the 2017 season.
And with the start of the season just a few mere weeks away, now seems like the prime time to pull out the Hopper app on your trusty mobile device and start thinking about which Washington road games are most worth seeing in person this year. This year’s slate of football games away from Husky Stadium are:
- Sept. 1: At Rutgers
- Sept. 23: At Colorado
- Sept. 30: At Oregon State
- Oct. 14: At Arizona State
- Nov. 10: At Stanford
Because I know our readers here at the UW Dawg Pound are such die hard fans who possess wealth that would make Edmond Dantès blush, I shall now all pretend that seeing every road game is not an automatic given for you. With that in mind, I present today’s finalists.
Which 2017 away game is your pick for best road trip?
This poll is closed
None of the above. I ain’t part of ya system.
Sept. 1: At Rutgers
Piscataway Township, N.J.
Early-season road trips against Power Five out-of-conference opponents always merit consideration for travel plans, even when the game itself doesn’t seem as if it will be particularly competitive. (Sports-betting outlet Bovada, for example, has already declared the Dawgs an early 30.5-point favorite.) On the other hand, this Friday night game will allow travelers a full weekend to spend in New York City, which is situated just 36 miles away from campus. Those Washingtonians who have not yet been able to visit the East Coast should find a particular draw from this game, considering any intrigue regarding the football portion of the trip will likely be erased well before halftime.
Sept. 23: At Colorado
Cross-divisional matchups of Pac-12 foes are always fun, but they take on an added meaning when they represent a rematch of the previous season’s conference championship game participants. That game, of course, swung heavily in Washington’s favor, with the No. 4 Huskies earning a 41-10 victory over the No. 9 Buffaloes and an invitation to the Peach Bowl College Football Playoff semi-final. This year’s matchup won’t have the same stakes—most observers would be surprised to see Colorado pull out a second consecutive division championship, considering the bevy of talent Mike MacIntyre is tasked with replacing—but the Buffs should offer up a competitive game nonetheless. If that’s not enough reason to visit, consider that few Pac-12 locales offer the vistas of late-summer Boulder, as well as the unique sight of Ralphie running prior to the start of the game.
Nov. 10: At Stanford
Palo Alto, Calif.
For those fans who want to cheer on a winning football team while desperately working hard to make nuclear fusion an eventual reality, make no mistake: Stanford Stadium is the place for you.
(In all seriousness, Stanford has wedded academics and athletic achievement like no other institution in the United States, and I am still salty that they plucked Connor Wedington and Foster Sarell out of the Pacific Northwest.)
For the football purists among us, there is no question that the Nov. 10 game between the Huskies and the Cardinal is one of 2017’s must-see contests. Both teams should be among the best in the nation (Washington and Stanford debuted in this week’s Amway Coaches Poll at Nos. 7 and 14, respectively), and the winner of this game will almost assuredly carry the inside track to the Pac-12 North division’s berth in the conference championship.
The Verdict: Stanford
For starters, have you ever been to Palo Alto? It’s nice.
Second of all, Stanford is one of just a handful of teams in the Pac-12 with realistic championship aspirations. A mid-November matchup between the Cardinal and the Huskies, then, has the potential to greatly shape the race for both the Pac-12 championship and a berth in the College Football Playoff. Meaningful late-season college football against an elite opponent in beautiful Northern California is just too much to pass up.
And after the Huskies win, take a day to drive through Napa Valley, and try to fathom why anyone in their right mind would ever leave.