Summer seems like it might last forever, but before you know it, autumn will be upon us - hay rides, caramel apples, Saturdays full of weddings - and for many people, it will also be time... for football!
Once considered a regional eccentricity, college football has become a major event in towns across the country. It's an excuse to reunite with family and friends, barbecue some burgers and hot dogs, and share a crisp Riesling before warming one's hands over the pageantry of a century-old sport. This great game spans from coast to coast, and our experts have planned out one touchdown of a road trip - buckle your seatbelts, because you're about to ride the football wave!
The Cradle of College Football
Though it's spread to become a beloved Midwestern and Southern pastime, college football's roots are in the Northeast- so where better to start than there? Home of 1984 Heisman Trophy winner and future Buffalo Bills star Doug Flutie, Boston College's Alumni Stadium offers a view of college football the way its founding fathers intended it. If you squint, you can still picture legendary coach Tom Coughlin prowling the sideline - before tucking into a bowl of "chowdah" at nearby local haunt Legal Sea Foods.
Ride Like A Big Man On Campus
Take a tip from savvy sports bloggers, and hit the streets in style - we're touring coast-to-coast in the all-new 2017 Chrysler 300 - after those metal bleachers, you'll love the heated seats and personalized climate control! Our trip is headed South, toward the present-day hotbeds of the sport, but we're going to take the "scenic route".
Blue Blood Ball
The game might be big at State U and Tech, but its blood is blue - time was, the Ivy League was the biggest game in town! Stop into Ithaca, NY and catch a game at Cornell University - home of the five-time National Champion "Big Red"! Then head on south through beautiful Ohio - make sure to stop at Canton's Pro Football Hall Of Fame, and our friend at Vox Media, culinary lifestyle correspondent Spencer Hall, recommends Grandpa's Cheesebarn in nearby Ashland!
No trip through the college football landscape would be complete without a pass through The South, America's most football-mad region - where the sport is practically a religion! The Loews Vanderbilt Hotel offers 4-star accommodations a short walk from Vanderbilt Stadium, where head coach Derek Mason leads a class of young Commodores hoping to be the next Jay Cutler or D.J. Moore. Try to plan your visit to catch a game against arch-rival Georgia!
Though the East Division is the traditional hotbed of football's Southeastern Conference, the upstart West has something to say about it. Plan your trip to catch the Arkansas Razorbacks at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, and you'll be saying "Woo, Pigs! Soo-wee!"
Please, can I stop here?
Waves Of Fruited Grain
While driving across The Great Plains, don't fool yourself into thinking it's just corn in those fields - the lands of Big 12 country play a brand of football that's anything but plain! Stop by H.A. Chapman Stadium in Tulsa to catch the Golden Hurricane play - and see if you can spot their beloved dog mascot, Goldie!
I wonder how long I could keep my hands off the wheel on this road. I bet I could do it for a while. I closed my eyes for ten whole minutes driving across Kansas. It was the freest I've felt in years.
Rocky Mountain High
We know visitors these days to Colorado - "The Centennial State" as the locals call it - like to "get high", and we've got just the thing! The United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs trains young men and women to get very high while their beloved Falcons soar in the competitive Mountain West Conference! You'll be "stoned" if you miss the game focusing on the mountain view!
I could've joined the military. I could've done something with my life.
Don't miss nearby Garden Of The Gods!
Can't Spell Utah Without "U"
Drive west across the Bonneville Salt Flats. Stop at night to take in the stars. Kill the engine. Walk away from the car and consider if you'd ever be found here. No one would've known you wanted to be a war correspondent and not a leisure-class travel writer. The desert sun would come and bleach it all away. Pure and clean.
100 miles west in Elko, try the Hawaiian pie at Pizza Barn.
I miss you and the kids, Sharon. I can make this right.
California Knows How To Party
Wrap up your trip by experiencing the best the West has to offer, with a game at The University of California - Berkeley - "Cal", to those in the know - where coach Sonny Dykes has the Golden Bears on the rise. But first, feed a football-sized appetite when you "tailgate" California-style with a visit to The French Laundry, just up the road in nearby Yountville!
It'll be a grand slam!