Hard to believe, but the 2014 college football season is less than a month away. I have been heavily negotiating the schedule with my better half. Last year was a banner year, closing in on over 13 stadiums. However, by the end of the season, my wife looking to move her football widow status from temporary to permanent.
So, this year’s schedule has fewer weekends away, but they tend to be longer to incorporate more games. Unfortunately, my work travel schedule is not helping. With multiple trips overseas, I will still be gone back-to-back weekends. With that in mind, here’s my tentative 2014 stadium schedule:
Game 1: Saturday, August 30th – New Hampshire at Toledo.
While New Hampshire is not a FBS team, they made it to the FCS semi’s last year and are projected to win their conference this year. Hopefully that means the Wildcats will give the Rockets a game. If not, we will count on a post-game visit to Cedar Point to put a smile on our faces.
Game 2: Saturday, September 27th – Missouri at South Carolina.
A big time SEC game welcomes me back from a two week trip to the Far East. I just hope the jet lag doesn’t hit me at half time.
Game 3: Friday, October 10th – Washington State at Stanford and Game 4: Saturday, October 11th – Washington at Cal.
The first double weekend of the schedule does not represent legendary PAC 10 match-ups, but I am hoping at least one of the two games is a good one. The bigger roll of the dice is presuming my flight from Italy on Thursday night gets me into the States in time to not miss my flight to San Francisco.
Bonus Game: Thursday, October 23rd – Miami at Va Tech; Game 5 Friday, October 24th – Southern Florida at Cincinnati; Game 6: Saturday, October 25th – Kent State at Miami, OH.
This is a three game weekend that only counts for two games since I have already hit Va Tech. However, a chance to hit a big night game in Blacksburg with my son was too good to pass up. The other two games may very well be duds. South Florida is coming off a dismal year so they may get a beating at the hands of the Bearcats. Likewise, Miami, OH was one of the worst teams in 2013 so the prospect of a competitive game in Oxford is fairly unlikely. The alternate is hitting Akron at Ball State, but I wouldn’t exactly look forward to a long drive back from Muncie, Indiana.
Game 7: Saturday, November 15, – South Carolina at Florida.
This is shaping up to be the most expensive game of the season. Tickets on Stubhub are already at $111 for the cheap seats. I can only hope this won’t be a repeat of the Florida St vs Clemson debacle of 2013. Additionally, this would be the start of another back to back set of weekends, so this missus may put this one on the chopping block.
Game 8: Thursday, November 20th – UNC at Duke; Game 9: Saturday, November 21st, Va Tech at Wake Forest.
This feels like a great way to wind up the season. With the Duke program on the upswing, the UNC vs Duke game feels like a great game to attend. I don’t love the gap between Thursday and Saturday, but I can see myself driving up to Blacksburg to pick up my son on Friday night so we can attend the Va Tech at Wake Forest game together on Saturday. It is a lot of driving, but anytime I can spend with my sons at games is special at this point. Thanksgiving is the following week so I may be able to stretch this into a nice long break going into the holidays. After having had to travel the world in September and October, I won’t feel guilty at taking that week off from work.
Bonus Game: Saturday, December 13th Army vs Navy.
This game doesn’t count toward the stadium total, but for tradition value it can’t be beat. Plus, I can just hop on the train and take it right to Philly.
There’s nothing in the schedule that screams “must see”, but looks can be deceiving. The beauty of college football is that any game can turn into a memorable one if not an all-time classic. The one nice thing about this year is that I do not have any double game days. It means I can have more time to tailgate with friends, family and fans. If you see a game that interests you, drop me a line and I will see if we can make it work. Especially Kent State at Miami, OH – really, I can’t bear the thought of watching that one alone.