Ultimate Fantasy 2021 Road Trip, Part 2
The ultimate road trip is a fairly common article or discussion topic during the offseason for college football. What fan doesn’t read the preseason magazines and dream about going to the great football stadiums that we see on television every weekend? I’m no different.
I do differ in one way: why does anyone try to be “realistic” in any way with a dream road trip? The entire concept is fantasy to begin with – most people can’t just drop their lives & careers for three whole months and just go to football games, even if it is just weekends. Most people can’t afford it either, between the cost of tickets, travel, and lodging. Why be reserved at all? Is there any real point in trying to be realistic about a completely unrealistic concept?
As Adam Savage from Mythbusters once said, “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”
Fantasy assumptions & rules:
I’m going all out. 69 games in one season, and since I got Bezos money, I’m bringing all of you with me! Just in case any of you say, “Why would we want to go there?”, I’ve planned out breweries we can hit along the way. I asked the Sidelines crew from the Kollege Sports Network for some recommendations. LET’S GO!!!!!
Picking up where we left off in Part 1….
Friday, October 15 – Clemson at Syracuse – Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY: The Dome has gotten a facelift. While the total project will extend into 2022, it looks like Syracuse already has some new flashy tech in their house. Will it help the Orange to the upset over the Tigers? Not likely. Brewery: Talking Cursive Brewing Company I’m having the: Netflixxx And Chili Mango
Saturday, October 16 – Miami at North Carolina – Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC: This is the game that most people think will decide the Coastal Division and who will get the chance to knock off Clemson in the ACC championship game. Both teams feature talented quarterbacks. Odds are that the winning team will have the better signal caller on this Saturday. Brewery: Steel String Brewery – I asked my former neighbor Rob, who relocated to Chapel Hill last year, to point me in the right direction. I’m having the: Dad Fuel
Wednesday, October 20 – Coastal Carolina at Appalachian State – Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, NC: Our second trip to Boone (since there is only one game on this night), but again it is a good Sun Belt tilt that could impact the NY6. Coastal will be eager to prove 2020 wasn’t a fluke. A little colder in Boone for this one. Brewery: Booneshine Brewing – the name alone has me sold. I’m having the: Squatchy Ale
Thursday, October 21 – Tulane at SMU – Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX: The Ponies have been a pretty good program since Sonny Dykes took over, and transfer quarterback Shane Buechele was a big reason for that success. Buechele moves on, but in comes Oklahoma transfer quarterback Tanner Mordecai, a former four-star recruit that has been lost in the shuffle of the Sooner’s depth chart. Brewery: Four Corners Brewing I’m having the: El Super Bee
Saturday, October 23 – USC at Notre Dame – Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN: Ohio State visiting Indiana is a tempting game, but this is a classic rivalry in a classic stadium. This is probably the biggest test of the year for both teams. Brewery: Evil Czech Brewery and Public House – @5FootNothinPod went to bat for us and did some research. Though there were two finalists, the name Evil Czech won me over fast. I’m having the: Static Chipmunk
Thursday, October 28 – South Florida at East Carolina – Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, NC: I want ECU on this list. Pirate Nation is one of the most underrated fanbases in the country. They are hungry to see East Carolina back on the winning track. USF and head coach Jeff Scott want to get back to winning too, but they will have to go into a difficult environment in Dowdy-Ficklen to beat the Pirates. Brewery: Pitt Street Brewing Company I’m having the: It’s Not A Tumor
Friday, October 29 – UNLV at Nevada – Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV: This isn’t a rivalry you hear about a lot, but these are the only two FBS teams in Nevada. It really doesn’t matter where they play this game each year – you either get to go to Las Vegas, or you get to go to Reno & Lake Tahoe. Brewery: Lead Dog Brewing Co. @SSN_Nevada gave us this recommendation. I’m having the: The Dankster
Saturday, October 30 – Florida State at Clemson – Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC: Here is my one cheat. My blood runneth orange, and I must see this game at Death Valley. It does have historical significance: it is the first revenge game in history when the game wasn’t played the season before. Scorched Earth. Brewery: Kite Hill Brewery – @SSN_Clemson gave me a heads up about this place. I’m having the: Frequency Modulated
Tuesday, November 2 – Eastern Michigan at Toledo – Glass Bowl, Toledo, OH: MACtion baby! We are about to see a lot more of the state of Ohio than we could ever possibly have dreamed! Toledo has been a strong MAC program for several years and will aspire of a division title again. Eastern Michigan has flashed over the last few years, but this probably isn’t the year for them. Brewery: Earnest Brew Works @SSN_Toledo was very helpful. He mentioned Earnest, and one of his followers seconded the recommendation. He also says if we want a place to enjoy a good whiskey, the Toledo Spirits Company downtown is great. I’m having the: Crunchy Hippie
Wednesday, November 3 – Central Michigan at Western Michigan – Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo, MI: We will switch it up a bit and visit Michigan too. Western Michigan brings back quarterback Kaleb Eleby as well as several other starters – they should be among the most veteran teams in the MAC. Central Michigan also has a veteran squad returning for Jim McElwain. Brewery: One Well Brewery – @Sidelines_WMU mentioned One Well as having one of the best reputations in town. I’m having the: Sweet Water Street
Thursday, November 4 – Georgia State at Louisiana – Cajun Field, Lafayette, LA: Seriously? Three separate nights of the year when the only game is hosted by The University of Louisiana at Lafayette? It’s a good thing I like Cajun food. Brewery: Tin Roof Brewing – since there are only two breweries in Lafayette, we are heading just east to Baton Rouge. I’m having the: Unladen Swallow
Friday, November 5 – Virginia Tech at Boston College – Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA: I considered going to Utah at Stanford. It’s probably better weather in early November, and from what I hear, we would probably have most of Stanford Stadium to ourselves. I decided to suck it up and go to Chestnut Hill – better environment and I think a better game. I’m hoping Jurkovec and Flowers are connecting because that would be a lot of fun to watch. Brewery: Brato Brewhouse + Kitchen I’m having the: After Dark
Saturday, November 6 – LSU at Alabama – Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL: Do I really need to talk up this game? Yeah, I guess there are some that think LSU has no chance here, but I think they have enough talent on the roster to make this a game worth watching. Brewery: Black Warrior Brewing Company – Thank you to @SSN_Alabama for this suggestion. I’m having the: Broad Street Brown
Tuesday, November 9 – Buffalo at Miami (OH) – Yager Stadium, Oxford, OH: Miami is known as the Cradle of Coaches. Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Ara Parseghian, John Harbaugh, Jim Tressel, Sean McVay, and a ton of other names all coached at Miami in some capacity during their early careers. Brewery: Municipal Brew Works I’m having the: Azacca To Me, Baby!
Wednesday, November 10 – Ball State at Northern Illinois – Huskie Stadium, DeKalb, IL: We may be able to hit Ohio only once a week if the schedule works out for us. Today we go to the MAC’s outpost in Chicagoland. Michigan State transfer Rocky Lombardi takes over at quarterback for a team looking to bounce back in a deep conference. They have a tough road ahead. Brewery: Forge Brewhouse I’m having the: Black Mamba
Thursday, November 11 – North Carolina at Pittsburgh – Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA: Pitt has stepped up to beat high-ranked teams before, and they do have a veteran QB in Kenny Pickett. For the Tar Heels, this game falls in a lull between high profile games vs. Miami & Notre Dame and their rivalry game against NC State. Pitt could sneak up on them. Brewery: Cinderlands Warehouse I’m having the: Grizzled Canary
Friday, November 12 – Cincinnati at USF – Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL: We have already seen the Blue Turf, so we are off to Tampa to see the Bulls. If Cincinnati’s plan holds, they will be challenging for the AAC title, but they do have a matchup against SMU the week after. They better not be looking ahead. Coach Scott would love to make a statement with a win over the Bearcats. Brewery: Cigar City Brewing – @Sidelines_USF had several suggestions, including Cigar City. @FromSluggo seconded Cigar City, so that was an easy choice. I’m having the: Space Pope
Saturday, November 13 – Michigan at Penn State – Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA: I considered Arizona State at Washington here, but it was too hard to pass up a trip to Happy Valley. Might even be a white out. Brewery: Happy Valley Brewing Company – @Sidelines_PSU provided plenty of feedback. Happy Valley gets pretty good reviews. I’m having the: Karate Dolphin Boogie
Tuesday, November 16 – Toledo at Ohio – Peden Stadium, Athens, OH: Little known fact: people assume MAC schools are ‘small schools’ because they aren’t huge programs, but that would be in error. The average MAC school enrollment is larger than the average ACC school. Like a lot of MAC schools, Ohio has a veteran roster that is eyeing an East division title. Brewery: Little Fish Brewing Company I’m having the: Pajama Shark
Wednesday, November 17 – Northern Illinois at Buffalo – UB Stadium, Buffalo, NY: Again, only one visit to Ohio this week as we go to the MAC’s most eastern outpost. It’s not that far from Athens, OH to Buffalo, I think we will have time for a visit to Niagara Falls. Lance Leipold has taken the Kansas job, but the Bison do have some returning starters in key positions. They won’t be giving up their East division crown easily. Brewery: Big Ditch Brewing Company I’m having the: Hayburner
Thursday, November 18 – Louisville at Duke – Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC: Poor Duke gets dissed a lot because they don’t pack out the house for football. Sadly, early predictions indicate the Blue Devils will struggle to give Duke fans reason to be excited. Hard to talk this one up, but the only other option is an FCS game. Maybe we leave at halftime and go back to the brewery. Brewery: Fullsteam Brewery I’m having the: The Road To Nowhere
Friday, November 19 – Memphis at Houston – TDECU Stadium, Houston, TX: Memphis has been consistent through multiple coaches over the past few years. Now they have turnover on the offensive side and are rebuilding. Houston might be poised to take advantage of Memphis and other AAC opponents that are rebuilding. Brewery: Saint Arnold Brewing Company – @SSN_UH pointed us towards this one. I’m having the: Raspberry AF
Saturday, November 20 – UCLA at USC – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: I think the Iowa State at Oklahoma game could be very good, but we did go to Norman for the Nebraska game, so instead we will head to the other LA stadium, the Coliseum to see the Trojans host the Bruins. There is probably nowhere else in the 48 states that will have better weather this weekend. Brewery: Phantom Carriage Brewery I’m having the: Nightmare On Main Street
We aren’t done yet, we have a whole post-season left – to be continued.