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30 Day Countdown, Day 26: Best Pac-12 Road Trip

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I can’t wait to be on the road again

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 07 UCLA at Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One of the great things about playing in the Pac-12 is the abundance of great away game road trip opportunities. With the possible exception of our nearest neighbors in Pullman, Eugene, and Corvallis, every other Pac-12 home town is an exciting destination to follow the Huskies for a road game. Every other major conference has its Stillwaters, Starkvilles, and Blacksburgs, but the Pac-12 has no such weak links (except Pullman, of course). This year is an especially strong slate for Husky away games. With apologies to the Beavs in Corvallis, the other four road games all have very fun travel possibilities.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

The first road game of the season takes place in The Big House in early September. The game itself is a great draw- a chance for the Dawgs to get the B1G/SEC monkey off their back with a win over a blue-blood program. The stadium is a behemoth and belongs on a bucket list of college football stadiums to see in person (I have been to The Big House, but did not see a game there; the size is overwhelming, even empty). Ann Arbor is not the most attractive place to visit, but it’s a perfectly pleasant mid-sized Midwestern town to visit. Any trip has to include a trip to Zingerman’s Deli. The only negative in this category is that the travel is a bit of a hassle.

Tucson, Arizona

Post-vaccination American road trip Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

I was well down the road toward traveling to this game before some obstacles got in the way. Tucson is a directly and relatively quick flight from Seattle. It’s squarely in the middle of the desert, which is a great way to see the sun in late October and some very different topography. Tucson is known to have some of the best Mexican food in the United States, which is a definite bonus. Unfortunately, the Wildcats are neither very good nor interesting. Does the fact that UW always plays poorly in the state of Arizona make it more appealing because it will probably be a closer game than it ought to be? Probably not.

Palo Alto, California

Stanford University Campus Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

All the negative things you can say about playing in Tucson go double for this game. The Dawgs have really struggled with Stanford’s physicality in recent years and the stadium probably has the worst atmosphere in the conference. Everything else here is a positive. The Bay Area is a very easy flight from Seattle. You can easily fly into and stay in nearby San Jose, which is an underrated place to visit. Palo Alto is beautiful on its own and you can spend a great day touring Stanford’s scenic campus. The area west of the Bay in Northern California is one of those gorgeous locales where you can be on the beach or in the mountains within an hour of each other. Of course, Seattle is another one of those places, but if you’re reading this blog, you don’t need to be convinced that Seattle is wonderful.

Boulder, Colorado

Suspect Arrested In JonBenet Ramsey Case Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

I have traveled to Denver many times for work, but have yet to make the trip to Boulder to see a Buffs game. It might be at the very top of my list for Pac-12 road games I most want to see. Colleagues who live in Boulder rave about the area. While we have mountains in Washington, they don’t compare to the Rockies for sheer awe. The game is another strong draw. The Buffs were a pleasant surprise last year, so the matchup should at least be competitive. Folsom Field is idyllic and has some of the best views in the country outside of Husky Field.

Verdict

As you can probably tell from my summaries, my preference would be to see the game against Colorado in November. There’s no reason NOT to go see that game. I could also see someone preferring to go to Ann Arbor due to the impact of that game. There isn’t a bad option, and if we’re allowed and able to travel this fall, it’s a great year to travel to a UW game.

Poll

Which 2021 Husky road destination would you most want to travel to?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    (102 votes)
  • 13%
    Tucson, Arizona
    (29 votes)
  • 9%
    Palo Alto, California
    (20 votes)
  • 30%
    Boulder, Colorado
    (67 votes)
218 votes total Vote Now