What makes a great college football road trip weekend? With 26 days left until Husky Football, let’s find out!
First, here are Washington’s 2019 road games:
- September 21st @ BYU
- October 5th @ Stanford
- October 12th @ Arizona
- November 8th @ Oregon State
- November 23rd @ Colorado
After running these matchups into my super secret proprietary analysis formula taking into account game atmosphere, city culture, local cuisine, and of course the game itself, I present the following
three two finalists:
Option #1: Stanford - Palo Alto, California
I know, I know. A game at Stanford? I thought this list was supposed to entice you to visit these great college atmospheres. I counter with: having gone to the last three UW @ Stanford games, it’s not as lame as people say. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. But what they lack in pure electricity in the air, they make up for with their crazy-ass band. Wherever they go, controversy follows, if you’re into that sorta thing. Like when the last time the Huskies visited, on Veterans’ Day, they played the USSR anthem while spelling out U-S-A on the field. I am not sure what frustrated Husky fans more: that, or Bryce Love’s indestructible ankle.
As for the actual game, the Huskies haven’t won at Stanford since 2007, when Tyrone Willingham beat Jim Harbaugh at football. Yeah, that actually happened—but Palo Alto and their stupid grass field have been problematic for the Dawgs ever since. Despite Stanford’s losses on offense and a defense that just hasn’t been as stingy and disruptive recently, they still represent a tough out. Their style of play matches up well with the Huskies in that they play smart, well-coached ball, avoiding costly mistakes. They return a veteran QB, albeit one who needs some new weapons outside (though Colby Parkinson is freaking amazing). Outside the 2016 game, these have been extremely tight Husky victories (err, victory, 17-13 in 2012), or comfortable Stanford wins. There’s a pretty good chance that this is a pivotal Pac-12 North game. Or Stanford could lose to WSU for the 48th time in a row and save us. Thankfully this game is in early October so there will be plenty of time to right the ship should the Huskies lose.
Finally, going to Palo Alto usually means great weather and being able to take in the weirdness that is San Francisco and the Bay Area. If you’re going to be in SF, stop by 21st Amendment Brewery in SoMa, then take a quick walk to CalTrain for a ride down to Palo Alto. Don’t forget to pack a few roadies because CalTrain is okay with boozing. If you prefer to imbibe by the stadium, the lightly wooded area surrounding campus by the stadium is a great place to tailgate and mingle with the classy champagne-sipping Stanford faithful.
Option #2: Colorado - Boulder, Colorado
Boulder always seems to end up on lists of the best college towns, year in and year out. I wonder why...
Looks all right, I guess. But I’ll bet it gets really dreary and depressing in the wint—
Fine. Boulder is beautiful in all seasons. And that field...
Besides taking in the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains and picturesque Boulder, you can also take in Chile Verde! One of the most famous dishes from the entire state of Colorado, it gets its distinct green color from the green things you put in it, like jalapeños, green chiles, tomatillos, and the grass chunks off of Leviska Shenault’s cleats. The most traditional iterations will include chiles from Pueblo, Colorado, where the dish originates. Or eat some rocky mountain oysters. I mean, it’s named after the region, so how bad could they be? Someone try them and report back.
Now, to the football! Colorado is breaking in a brand new head coach determined to bring the SEC model and mentality out west. I don’t need to break it down for you, but think of coaching platitudes like “we’re going to be a physical football team” and have a defense that “gets after it.” We’re going “win the battles in the trenches” and “punch teams in the mouth.” Former Georgia DC Mel Tucker should be somewhat familiar with his team by late November, which will be featuring 97th-year senior Steven Montez and one of the best all-purpose weapons in the game, the aforementioned Mr. Shenault. Colorado is probably more of a rebuild than seems obvious after a 5-7 season; that 2016 South Division title feels like a lifetime ago. But, everything about this game screams “road trip!”—beautiful campus, great food, lots to do besides football stuff, and very good stadium atmosphere. Not to mention seeing the Ralphie Run of the live buffalo is one of College Football’s great traditions.
Are you really going to make me decide between BYU, Arizona, and Oregon State for the third contender? Good. Because Boulder is the winner anyway. I thought about Arizona, since Tuscon is certainly a fun party town, and there’s a chance Khalil Tate regains his 2017 form (though I am not betting on Kevin Sumlin to make that happen). There are also Mexican food-related reasons for going to Tuscon (also Dirtbags on E Speedway—it’s as fun as it sounds!) But, coming right after the Stanford game, Arizona will be the second straight road trip to a place the Huskies can’t seem to figure out. Even when they win, it’s a nail-biter. Win or lose, the game itself against Arizona does not scream “fun” if you’re a Husky fan.
So BYU? I thought about planning a whole football and National Parks weekend, but that’s all a bit far from campus and Boulder offers a similar aesthetic that is a little more accessible. BYU returns a lot of starters from last year’s 7-6 team which UW pretty well handled in Seattle. It will be closer in Provo but I don’t seen a terribly close game. And Oregon State...I like what Jonathan Smith started to build in Year 1, but they will probably get destroyed by the Huskies. But if you want to see a Northwest rival with the shortest road trip, Corvallis is your bet.
What’s the best 2019 road trip?
This poll is closed
September 21st @ BYU
October 5th @ Stanford
October 12th @ Arizona
November 8th @ Oregon State
November 23rd @ Colorado