Maybe this is just a fantasy and maybe this could never happen, but we’ve planned the ultimate college football road trip for the 2010 season. We limited ourselves with some strict criteria as we planned this year’s travels. We can’t see more than one game per week and we couldn’t see any teams more than one time. Our goal by the end of the season is to be able to say that we saw the team that won the national championship and also the season’s Heisman Trophy winner.
This year we’ll see 15 games and 30 teams. We’ll see games in some of the country’s most hallowed stadiums watch coaches that will be remembered as some of the best of all time. Come along for the ride and see if you agree that this is the ultimate college football road trip.
Week 1 Boise State at Virginia Tech
Lane Stadium should be rocking when #5 Boise State comes to town to take on #6 Virginia Tech. This is the biggest game of the early season and a great way to kick off our trip.
Week 2 Penn State at Alabama
Joe Paterno takes his Nittany Lions to Tuscaloosa to take on Nick Saban’s #1 ranked Crimson Tide. With some early injuries and suspensions for Alabama, this game just might come down to the wire. The key to this game could be the QB play for Penn State - an inexperienced, untested group.
Week 3 Arkansas at Georgia
QB Ryan Mallett will lead the Razorbacks into hostile territory to try to knock off Mark Richt’s Georgia Bulldogs. Both teams should be undefeated when they face in an early season SEC clash.
Week 4 South Carolina at Auburn
QB Stephen Garcia and Frosh RB Marcus Lattimore lead Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks into Auburn - a team that returns eight starters on defense. USC will have to contain Auburn’s Cam Newton to stay in the game.
Week 5 Texas vs. Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl
Texas looks to rebuild after the graduation of Colt McCoy and Garrett Gilbert looks to do just that. He’ll have his hands full against a talented Oklahoma team who is dealing with similar concerns. Landry Jones will step in to the role left by Sam Bradford’s graduation. Luckily, both QBs saw some time last year due to injuries.
Week 6 LSU at Florida
We visit the swamp in week six to see a huge matchup between LSU and Florida - two great teams with two great coaches. Urban Meyer and the host Gators will defend their turf for the first time in three years without Tim Tebow at the helm.
Week 7 BYU at TCU
BYU will have to put the distractions of leaving the MWC behind them as they travel to TCU to take on the Horned Frogs. The TCU offense is led by QB Andy Dalton who ranked eighth in the country in pass efficiency last year. There will also be some bad blood due to BYU’s decision to leave the MWC at the end of the year.
Week 8 Nebraska at Oklahoma State
Nebraska, the newest member of the Big Ten, will travel to Stillwater to face a Cowboy team led by junior QB Brandon Weeden. Weeden, a 26-year-old former New York Yankee minor leaguer, showed promise at the end of the 2009 season in limited action. Bo Pelini’s Nebraska squad returns nine offensive starters and a very talented defense.
Week 9 Oregon at USC
Although USC is not eligible for a bowl game this season, they still have a great team and a trip to Southern California is never a bad thing. Off the field issues could have a negative impact on the Ducks and the Trojans are playing under first-year head coach Lane Kiffin.
Week 10 North Carolina at Florida State
Jumbo Fisher is trying to replace legend Bobby Bowden at Florida State and they’ll have their hands full against a scrappy Tar Heel team. Fisher returns nine offensive starters including standout QB Christian Ponder. UNC will try to counter with a tough defense that also returns nine starters.
Week 11 Miami at Georgia Tech
Head coach Paul Johnson will try to have the Georgia Teach option offense clicking when they host Miami on November 13. Georgia Tech will try to maintain their nearly 300 yards rushing per game against a talented Miami team. Miami will go as far as talented QB Jacory Harris takes them.
Week 12 Ohio State at Iowa
Heisman hopeful Terrelle Pryor leads a powerful offense into Iowa in what could be the Big Ten game of the year. Kirk Ferentz’s Hawkeyes also have a talented signal caller in Ricky Stanzi. The team that wins the turnover battle will probably walk away with the win and possibly the Big Ten title.
Week 13 West Virginia at Pitt
We’ll travel to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh for the 2010 edition of the Backyard Brawl. You can throw the records out the window when these two teams meet on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Week 14 Connecticut at South Florida
This will be our second Big East matchup in as many weeks. Connecticut will look to build on the success at the end of the 2009 season and translate that into a Big East championship. South Florida and B.J. Daniels will try to dash those hopes. Daniels is a dual threat QB that will lead new head coach, Skip Holtz’s (Lou’s son) team.
Week 15 Navy vs. Army in Philadelphia
As the final game of the regular season, Army-Navy will be center stage as the only college game on the schedule today. That’s just what this game deserves. A dominating Navy team and and up-and-coming Army team face off in Philadelphia. Every college football fan should try to get to one of these games at least once in their lives.
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