Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 6/5/13

Have you ever wondered how many people are sitting on a bleacher, or in a luxury box on a Saturday during football season? The passion of fans from Division III programs like Mount Union all the way to Ohio State is simply amazing. For many of these fans they respect what their counterparts do around the nation. Plan all week, put together a menu for the tailgate and then cheer relentlessly for three to four hours hoping the home team wins. But I believe many of these same fans would love nothing more than to plan the perfect college football road trip that would take them around the country seeing the best games. I have one simple, self-imposed rule: You can’t travel to the same stadium more than once. So do you want to see Ole Miss at Alabama or wait for LSU to travel to Tuscaloosa? You have to make a choice. Every Wednesday for the next few weeks I will give you a road map of the best games to see this season. Here are my suggestions for the first month of the 2013 season. Week 1 Aug. 29: North Carolina at South Carolina Is it just me or does South Carolina have a contract with ESPN that says it gets to open the season every year with a Thursday night game? The Gamecocks, which may have their best team since Steve Spurrier arrived in Columbia, kicks things off with a potentially strong North Carolina. If Brynn Renner can get the offense going the Tar Heals could pull off one of the biggest upsets on the first night of the season. South Carolina has Jadeveon Clowney and I’d love to see him play in person. I’d also like to do a little pre-game partying with the folks at the Cockaboose Railroad. Aug. 30: Texas Tech at SMU It would take some meticulous travel arrangements, but I’m sure we can get from Columbia, S.C., to Dallas in time for the Friday night game. Neither SMU nor Texas Tech is expected to compete for a conference championship in 2012, but there are two good reasons to make this trek. Getting to see former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert lead the Mustangs in June Jones’ offense has great potential. Tech quarterback Michael Brewer has the potential to be a special talent, and it will be interesting to see what impact first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury has on his signal caller. Aug. 31: Georgia at Clemson Here’s a chance to watch an elimination game the first week of the season. Both Georgia and Clemson have national title aspirations and whoever loses this game will be fighting an uphill battle the rest of the season. It’s also a chance to see two of the games best quarterbacks — Aaron Murray and Tajh Boyd — go at it in the other Death Valley. There will also be a ton of other great athletes on the field, including Clemson’s Sammy Watkins and Georgia’s Todd Gurley. With the new playoff system on the horizon, let’s hope we get more of these early match ups. Sept. 1: Ohio at Louisville Louisville is the clear-cut favorite to win the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference and the Cardinals have an outside shot of playing for a national championship. It’s tough to pass up an early chance to see another Heisman candidate in Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. While he should be fine against a young Ohio defense, it will also be interesting to see if the Cardinals can put together a running game. Let’s not forget that the Bobcats have a solid dual-threat guy in Tyler Tettleton. He led Ohio to a nice win at Penn State to start the 2012 season. He’d love nothing more to add a win over Louisville to his resume. Sept. 2: Florida State at Pittsburgh Pittsburgh’s football program has been trending downward for the past three seasons and the Panthers’ first year in the ACC could be another tough campaign. I guess you can say the ACC rewarded Pitt with a season-opener at Heinz Field against one of the conference’s best in Florida State. Pitt’s offense is going to struggle to score, but it’s still worth going to see the start of a new era. Week 2 Sept. 6: Wake Forest at Boston College It’s a crappy ACC game, but let’s go to Boston before the weather gets too cold. It’s also the start of the Stave Addazio era in Chestnut Hill, so let’s see what the former Temple coach does with the mess left behind by Frank Spaziani. Offensively, BC will have three-year starter Chase Rettig at quarterback and a solid running game led by Andre Williams. Wake Forest will counter with Tanner Price, who coach Jim Grobe hopes will be able to use more of Price’s overall athletic ability this season by going back to an option offense. Sept. 7: Notre Dame at Michigan Other good options include Florida at Miami and South Carolina at Georgia, so this one is a tough week. But this will be the final meeting in Ann Arbor until at least 2020 as these two rivals are not scheduled to play after 2014. With no Everett Golson it looks like it will be the Tommy Rees show — again. It goes without saying, but the Wolverines will provide a warm welcome for the Irish as Brady Hoke has no hard feelings about the end of the series. Week 3 Sept. 13: Air Force at Boise State It wouldn’t be a college football ultimate roadtrip without a trekking out west to see the blue turf. Air Force is one of the few teams that could challenge Boise State for the Mountain West crown, but it’s never easy to take down the Broncos at home. Should be interesting to see how much Joe Southwick has matured as enters a second season as the starter at quarterback. The Falcons are coming off a disappointing 6-7 season, so it will be interesting to see what Troy Calhoun does to whip this team into shape. Sept. 14: Alabama at Texas A&M Welcome to the SEC’s newest (and possibly most competitive) rivalry. The Aggies handed Alabama its lone loss of 2012 and that’s about all Nick Saban needs to motivate his group. With the talent A&M returns, the rowdy 12th Man crowd and everything that is riding on this game, we could be witnessing the best game of the season. Week 4 Sept. 19: Clemson at North Carolina State Never thought I’d care to see Clemson play twice in a season, much less twice in a month, but this Tiger team is talented and taking on N.C. State at Carter-Finley Stadium is never an easy task. We know what we get with Clemson, but the Wolfpack are in transition with first-year coach Dave Doeren, who guided Northern Illinois to the Orange Bowl last season. It’s still unclear how the offense will score this season, but State’s defense is solid. If the unit isn’t on the field all night then it could keep this game close and make it worth making the visit. Sept. 21: Kansas State at Texas No one is expecting Kansas State to be the Big 12 champs again, but this is the perfect game to find out if Mack Brown is finally turning things around in Austin. The Longhorns hope to speed up the offensive attack this season and OC Major Applewhite plans to do it with a balanced plan. He has the running game in place with Johnathan Gray, but does anyone really believe David Ash or Case McCoy can lead this team on offense? The Wildcats still have Tyler Lockett at wide receiver, but they don’t have their inspirational leader Collin Klein. The defense also lost eight players, so this K-State team is rebuilding. Even if the game is weak, we’ll still have a blast hanging out in Austin. Week 5 Sept. 26: Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech There’s always something fun on Thursday night’s in Atlanta when Georgia Tech is playing. I don’t expect anything less when the Hokies come to town. Neither of these programs are considered ACC frontrunners this year, but never count out either. This game will give one of them a shot at taking down Miami or North Carolina for the Coastal Division. Sept. 28: LSU at Georgia The Bulldogs have a brutal September so don’t be surprised if Mark Richt’s team enters this key SEC game at 1-2. LSU will probably be 4-0. It doesn’t really matter as both are talented and this should be a tough, hard-hitting contest. And everyone should see a game between the hedges at least once.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bills suspend assistant coach for first six games of 2015

Trent Richardson has 50-50 chance at making Raiders roster

Rex Ryan takes subtle jabs at Jets' upper management

Everett Golson responds to Paul Finebaum's criticism

Mark Sanchez says it ‘crazy’ to call Chip Kelly racist

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Malcolm Butler daring Brady to throw his way in practice

Geno Smith confident worst is behind him and the Jets

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

WATCH: Dez Bryant throws punches at training camp

There's no need for Notre Dame to join a conference

WATCH: Benches clear during Royals-Blue Jays game

Jim Harbaugh gives Nicki Minaj a shoutout on Twitter

The Kardashian sisters still call Caitlyn Jenner 'Bruce'

Tennessee fan recreates Neyland Stadium in backyard

Lolo Jones: I could last at least a minute against Rousey

Bears have very strict rules for media during training camp

Jamaal Charles: I feel like I'm the LeBron James of football

Ronda Rousey: I'll fight Cyborg if she stops taking steroids

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker