As the college football season approaches, everyone starts to pull together their must-see matchups. For example, ESPN’s @CollegeGameDay already tweeted their “Notable Matchups” highlighting the list below.
For me, there would be no better place than to be in Dublin Ireland watching Penn State take on last year’s Fiesta Bowl Champions, the UCF Knights. Obviously, not an easy task to fly 16 hours for a football game, but hey, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, right?Sure a little of the luster was lost when half of the O’Brien vs O’Leary cache bolted for the NFL, but I digress. The intrigue of witnessing the debut of yet another new coach at Penn State is appealing. Considering I attended the opener of the first new HC at Penn State in almost 50 years, I feel like I don’t want to waste the opportunity to say “I was there when it all started”.
Using my handy-dandy new tool from Batchgeo, I was able to quickly visualize the hotspots for events that weekend. With 17 events in the Georgia area, I drilled down to get a closer view. With each click of the zoom, the actual locations start to materialize. But the circle over Atlanta remained large indicating there is a concentration of events in town that weekend.
When I clicked on the circle, what jumped out at me was that there are two of ESPN’s “notable matchups” (on paper anyway) in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta the same weekend – and that’s not including the Clemson vs Georgia matchup in Athens.
Attending two elite matchups in the same weekend would be outstanding, but a quick check of the other events in the area revealed what could be an absolutely epic weekend – if you’re a Wandering Spectator like me.
Here’s your challenge – if you choose to accept it.
You can get things Thursday night with Boise State vs Ole Miss in the Georgia Dome. With a new Coach for the Broncos, you have to wonder if he can continue the rise of “the little team that could”.
You’ll be a little jet-lagged or tired the next morning, so maybe hang by the pool or get a round of golf in Friday morning before the Marlins take on the Braves at the soon to be extinct Turner Field at 5:30pm. I won’t be shedding a tear for the loss of that stadium. Check out my other post, Hotlanta, for my experience there.
Don’t party too much because Saturday morning, you’ll head up to Georgia Tech for a 12:30 kickoff to see them take on Wofford (is that really a team?). Cheap tickets and the return of college football are the only reasons to attend this one. And I’d suggest you only attend the first half. You don’t want to miss the pre-game festivities for one of the marquee matchups of the new season.
You’ll head back downtown as West Virginia takes on the odds on favorite 2014 National Champions, Alabama. If that’s not appealing enough for you, perhaps you’ll want to make the trip out Athens to catch the other key matchup – Clemson @ Georgia. Either way, you can’t lose and you have a shot at witnessing one of the likely winners of the SEC East or West Divisions.
There you have it. An absolutely do-able Wandering Spectator Quadruple. Sure it’s four events, but it can’t top the Trifecta we pulled off a few years ago. During the Lions and Bulls and Bears Oh My, we hit an NBA, NCAAF and NFL game in the same weekend. Oh, and that one was topped off by a bachelorette party crashing the bar as some celebrated the Hawkeyes upset of Penn State.
Excited for the new season yet? Where will you be Week 1? If you’re not sure, check out the Week 1 Map I created. You can drill in to see events that are close by each other. I’ve included MLB, NCAAF, Nascar. The NFL schedule starts the week after and as future NHL and NBA schedules are released, I’ll add those in as well.
If you see an interesting itinerary, let me know so I can share.
Happy Wandering! @WanderingSpec