The worst part about odd year Cal football schedules is how bleary the home schedule ends up looking. Aside from the USC game, there is not one signature home game I can really get super excited about. Oregon State, Washington State, San Diego State, Arizona State, Grambling State provide plenty of opportunities at victories, but there are also a lot of possible flubs and routs. Obviously, I should be happy, considering how miserable Cal has been at home recently, but right now I'd just be worried about all of this.
On the flip side, it's the year of road trips! Lots of great places to choose from.
Here are my rankings for the year.
6. Furd (Palo Alto, California). It's just so boring to come here and can be a real drag if you lose. Stanford is not an interesting campus, you get lost trying to find parking, you spend 80% of the time walking around because the campus is detached from the actual city of Palo Alto. Getting out of here can also be hell.
5. Oregon Ducks (Eugene, Oregon). Not that interested in Autzen for the near future until I feel pretty confident we can win there. Still, Eugene is a wonderful city and a place worth visiting at least once in your life. It's a bit remote and hard to fly into but you can generally find your way there if you're willing to make the road trip.
4. Utah Utes (Salt Lake City, Utah). Salt Lake City is a nice underrated gem. The campus is in a beautiful location, you can hike pretty much everywhere, and the people are really some of the nicest you'll ever meet. Store your Mormon jokes and you'll have a great time in Salt Lake.
3. UCLA Bruins (Pasadena, California). I don't enjoy most of Los Angeles at all. But I love Pasadena. It's a wonderful city with good food, solid shopping, and one of the few places where you can actually feel like you can walk for the most part without needing a car. And it has the perfect tailgate location in the golf course. If you're good with an all-day excursion,
2. Washington Huskies (Seattle, Washington). Seattle is one of my favorite cities in the world to visit, and a weekend to watch the Bears take on the Huskies feels like a lot fun. Additionally, Husky Stadium is picturesque--it's by the water, it's loud, and just a wonderful college football bucket list location. If I could make any Pac-12 trip in the near future, Husky Stadium is the one I want to do.
1. Texas Longhorns (Austin, Texas). The Berkeley of Texas! One of the fast growing jewels of America, Austin is the hip place to be. Considering how rare it is for Cal to play Texas, you should make the most of this opportunity, take advantage of slightly apathetic Texas fans, and book your tickets while you still can.
What's your favorite Pac-12 road trip to take? What road trip are you taking this year?