Good morning Coug fans, and welcome to the last weekend of the month before the month before college football season. Our friends over at ESPN.com's Pac-12 Blog have been doing a little series called "Pac-12 Ultimate Road Trip" for the last few seasons now, and we thought we'd come up with one of our own before preseason camp starts, at which time we'll have actual football things to talk about. Here are the ground rules:
1) We have an RV and 3-4 people
2) We try and visit as many Pac-12 venues as possible
3) Any game involving a conference team is eligible
4) Every segment of the trip involves at least one stop at a brewery
Alright, let's load up and get a move on...
Thursday, September 3: Michigan at Utah - What better way to kick off the season than witnessing Jim Harbaugh's Michigan debut? His shaky quarterback will be facing a stout Utes defense, along with the MUSS. I don't expect this to go well for ol' Jimbo. After watching a likely Ute win, we'll toss back a Bristlecone Brown or Cutthroat Pal Ale from Uinta Brewing and get ready for a trip north.
Salt Lake City to Boise: 345 miles
Friday, September 4: Washington at Boise State - A pretty easy drive coupled with a late start gives us plenty of time to take in Boise. That will include a visit to Highlands Hollow Brewery, where hopefully the Bonnie St. Nan Cherry Smoked Porter is on draft. Once the game starts, I expect Chris Petersen's side of this matchup to fare about as well as he always has in this matchup. Once the game ends, it's time to channel our inner Walter and Jesse, as we'll be pulling an overnighter in the RV.
Boise to Pullman: 294 miles
Saturday, September 5: Portland State at WSU - The late night in Boise, coupled with the early start in Pullman calls for a serious rally once we pour ourselves out of the RV. Something tells me that the dawn of a new season will make it easy to get up and at 'em. Of course, we will also be pouring ourselves a Bloody Mary or three in order to get in tailgating spirit. This game was chosen because it was the easiest one to get to (distance-wise at least) and because we're gonna win this one. After a postgame nap, it'll be time to hit up Paradise Creek Brewery for a Scottish Stovepipe and a Huckleberry Pucker. Drink up, fellow passengers, we've got a LONG road ahead in the morning.
Pullman to Ann Arbor, MI: 2089 miles
Saturday, September 12: Oregon State at Michigan - After a leisurely drive east, along with a stop at Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo, we roll in to the Big House for Mr. Pleated Khakis' home opener. I give Michigan credit for opening up against two Pac-12 foes, and I expect this one to go a little better for Harbaugh than the opener did. No time for post game revelry, however, as we've got another game to catch. Aside: I've just now become aware of the Bell's Planets Series, and am disappointed that I couldn't try all of them.
Ann Arbor to East Lansing: 64 miles
Saturday, September 12: Oregon at Michigan State - We make it up to the banks of the Red Cedar in plenty of time to take in one of the marquee non-conference games of the season. What are the odds that both Oregon teams would be playing in Michigan on the same day, and we could easily witness each of them? This game should be a classic, as it pits the high-powered Duck offense against the always-salty Spartan defense. Can't wait.
East Lansing to Austin: 1348 miles
Saturday, September 19: Cal at Texas - There is absolutely no way that we're going to pass up a chance to stand in line at Franklin Barbecue, and this presents the perfect opportunity. The best matchup of the weekend is likely Stanford at USC, but we'll be in L.A. soon enough. So after a stop in for a Caddo Kolsch and Petit Jean Pear at Stone's Throw Brewing in Little Rock, we roll into Austin ready for brisket and football. This is another match of strengths, as Cal's video game offense faces a stout Longhorn defense. The opposite matchup provides for plenty of opportunities to hit the restroom.
Austin to Tempe: 1001 miles
Saturday, September 26: USC at Arizona State - This game falls perfectly in the schedule. It pits two teams who will compete for the Pac-12 South title, and it's relatively close to our previous venue. Before we hit the giant oven known as Sun Devil Stadium, however, there is a highly-anticipated stop (and possibly a follow-up) at Papago Brewing in Scottsdale. This place is beyond awesome. The Orange Blossom Ale and Coconut Joe Stout will change your life.
Tempe to LA: 425 miles
Saturday, October 3: Arizona State at UCLA - We follow the Sun Devils west, and make a mandatory stop in Pasadena. This game features yet another contender in the Pac-12 South, as Mora's Bruins return a ton of talent. After sampling a pint or two of L.A. Saison and (hopefully) Grape Ape IPA at Smog City Brewing - I can't think of a better name for a brewery in L.A. - we take in the gorgeous setting and what will likely be a great game.
That does it for Part One of our fantasy road trip. Stay tuned Sunday for Part 2. Feel free to chime in about which games you'd attend if you could.
Meet the Freshmen: Part 2 - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
It's pretty obvious which of the five players on camera has been through a college football weight lifting and training program. Davis Perrott easily has the best hair, along the best highlight.
Meet The Freshmen: Part 3 - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
CJ Dimry is tall. Tavares Martin is thin. The best part is at the end when Dimry takes a shot at Pippins.
Why does Adidas keep making college teams wear hideous garbage? - SBNation.com
Not WSU-related, but I just want to go on record as saying that I hope WSU never signs a contract with Adidas. Well, unless they throw a giant amount of cash at Bill Moos that results in an indoor practice facility. I'll look past it at that point.
Pac-12 Summer School: Arizona reloads, looks ready to repeat - CBSSports.com
Josh Hawkinson returns, so that's good! But beyond him, there's just not a lot here to think they can make a run toward the middle of the league.
Budweiser still mocks craft beer - Fortune
The Super Bowl ad for Bud got plenty of criticism from craft breweries. So why did Budweiser last week tweet out more mocking messages?
The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle - The New Yorker
I realize that many of you have likely read this, but I just got around to it this week, and it was gripping. The fact that they could trace the previous earthquake back to the date and time in 1700 blows my (admittedly non-scientific) mind.