It is every college football fan’s dream. To hit the open road and spend all 15 weeks of the college football season experiencing the tailgating, the food, the stadiums, and most importantly, watching the biggest games of the week live!
The one rule for this is simple; you must drive from location to location and the drive must be realistic. So, as you’ll see in just a moment, you can’t make a 24-hour drive in 12-hours.
In all, we’re going to hit 18 games in 14 stadiums over 14 weeks, see 16 different teams play, and travel 13,132.2 miles. Let’s go!
|AUG 30||OK State at Oregon State||Corvallis, OR|
|SEP 1||Oklahoma vs Houston||Norman, OK|
I really wanted to get three games in three days, but there was no way to start off in Corvallis on Friday night and make a single Saturday game in time. Also, I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit the state of Oregon and watch Oklahoma State open the season.
Logistics don’t allow for a Saturday game, but thankfully the Sooners play on Sunday. So, I’ll take the 30-hour drive to Norman for a night showdown against Houston and Dana Holgorsen.
|SEP 7||Texas vs LSU||Austin, TX|
There’s just one game this week. I really tried to squeeze in a morning game, but Austin was just too far away from Columbia, MO, or Manhattan, KS, to make it work. And there is no way I’m missing the marquee game of the Big 12’s non-conference slate, and arguably the best non-conference game period (there is an argument for Texas A&M at Clemson).
|SEP 13||Kansas at Boston College||Chestnut Hill, MA|
|SEP 14||TCU at Purdue||West Lafayette, IN|
Gotta love week night games. They make this so easy. A trip up to Boston will be nice and probably more enjoyable than the actual game, but who knows, Kansas beat Rutgers last season.
For Saturday, I can make the 14-hour drive to West Lafayette to watch Purdue’s potent offense go up against TCU’s speedy defense. Plus, these are some of my last chances to check out some interesting towns and stadiums outside of the Big 12’s footprint.
|SEP 21||SMU at TCU||Fort Worth, TX|
Since we don’t have many kick-off times from here on out, it’s single game days. Conference play officially kicks off this week with two games — West Virginia at Kansas and Oklahoma State at Texas — and I really considered them. However, I love a good rivalry game, and while we just saw TCU play last weekend, the Iron Skillet Battle is something I’ve always thought would be fun to check out.
|SEP 28||Iowa State at Baylor||Waco, TX|
There is a lot riding on this game for two teams with dark horse aspirations. Iowa State is looking to break through and make the Big 12 title game while Baylor is looking to get back to double digit win seasons. This is arguably the Cyclones’ second toughest road game behind a trip to Norman. It’s going to be a game to watch. Plus, there is the whole Magnolia Market thing to check out.
|OCT 5||Baylor at K-State||Manhattan, KS|
I realize this is back-to-back weeks with a game involving Baylor, but I’ve decided to stop hiding my Charlie Brewer love. I have to get a visit to Manhattan at some point in the season, and since this is just one of three times the Bears are leaving the state of Texas this season, this felt like a good opportunity. Plus, there will plenty of opportunities to see the teams with high expectations in bigger games later in the season.
|OCT 12||Oklahoma vs Texas||Dallas, TX|
I mean, what did you expect me to pick. To be honest, I’ve never been to this game, and it’s on my bucket list. Not only is it one of college football’s best remaining rivalries, the game is finally back to being nationally relevant. While the two teams could face off again in the Big 12 title game like last year, it doesn’t decrease the importance of this match-up especially to the two fan bases. Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of spending the rest of the day at the Texas State Fair?
|OCT 19||Baylor at OK State||Stillwater, OK|
Yes, I am an Oklahoma State fan. But if you’ve never been to an OSU homecoming, you really should. There are reasons it’s considered one of the best homecomings in the country. Make sure you show up for walk-arounds on Friday night to take in all of the amazing pomp displays in front of the fraternity houses. Then grab a drink and some cheese fries at Eskimo Joe’s before visiting some tailgates across the campus.
|OCT 26||OK State at Iowa State||Ames, IA|
I know this is back-to-back Oklahoma State games, but this is more about finally getting up to Ames for a game. Iowa State home games have always had a great showing, but now that the Cyclones are good an in contention for the Big 12 title game, it’s only gotten better. Iowa State finally got a “W” against the Pokes last year after three straight seasons of close losses where the Cyclones blew 4th-quarter leads of at least eight points.
|OCT 31||West Virginia at Baylor||Waco, TX|
|NOV 2||K-State at Kansas||Lawrence, KS|
Another double game week! We head to Waco on Thursday night for our first look at Neal Brown’s West Virginia squad. This feels like a year zero for Brown, but by this point in the season, we should be seeing the best the Mountaineers can be in Brown’s first year at the helm. Plus, I’m sure we will need some more Magnolia stuff for the house.
We then head to Lawrence on Saturday for the Sunflower Showdown. The last time Kansas won a game in this series, Bill Snyder had retired. With the wizard in retirement once again, this feels like the best chance in a long time for the Jayhawks to get a win.
|NOV 9||Texas Tech at West Virginia||Morgantown, WV|
I know this week is Iowa State at Oklahoma and that that game could be HUGE in determining the Big 12 title game. I also realize we just watched a rebuilding West Virginia team last week.
However, we have yet to make a trip to Morgantown or catch a Texas Tech game. So, we’re headed to Lubbock for what should be a rivalry featuring a Dana Holgerson trophy. The Mountaineers have won this game five years in a row. I think the Red Raiders have a real shot at bringing that streak to an end in 2019.
|Nov 16||Texas at Iowa State||Ames, IA|
Ok. I skipped the game of the week last time, so despite how much fun TCU at Texas Tech could be, I’m going to the big one in Week 12.
Last year, the game between Iowa State and Texas basically decided which one of them would face the Sooners in the conference title tilt. There’s a good chance that could happen again. This time though, the Cyclones get the Longhorns up in Ames.
A potential night game, in Ames, with a packed Jack Trice Stadium, in late November? This folks, could be a good one.
|NOV 23||K-State at Texas Tech||Lubbock, TX|
There’s not a game this week that just knocks my socks off. So, we’re taking this opportunity to finally make it out to the middle of nowhere West Texas, Lubbock.
These year one coaching match-ups offer some intrigue, and with the Red Raiders and K-State likely having some pretty contrasting styles on offense, it could present either something really cool to see or an abomination you can’t turn away from.
Honestly though, this could be the game where Tech earns bowl eligibility this season. It should be fun to watch the fan base experience something they haven’t seen all that often: a chance at a winning season.
|NOV 29||Texas Tech at Texas||Austin, TX|
|NOV 30||Oklahoma at OK State||Stillwater, OK|
It’s the last week of the regular season and another two-game weekend. To be honest, neither Friday night game is a “can’t miss” so I’ll take Tech at Texas rivalry over West Virginia at TCU.
After that, the Red River Showdown may finally be relevant again, but no game has had a bigger impact on deciding the Big 12 Champ the past decade than Bedlam. And while Oklahoma has dominated the “W” column, the games are usually fun, close, and high octane.
So if money, tickets, and the cost of travel weren’t even a consideration because obviously money is no object, what would be your ultimate Big 12 road trip to take?