Monday, January 5, 2009

Ranking the Pac-10 Road Trips

I thought it would be interesting to start a discussion regarding which are the best (and worst) road trips in the Pac-10. Criteria include the city, the stadium, the gameday experience, etc.

Thanks to those of you who responded to my post on Cactus Ranch. Based on your feedback I have revised my original order slightly.

I am leaving au and Tucson out of this.

Full disclosure: I have been to 9 of the 10 schools (WSU is my only miss) and my trip to Stanford was prior to the stadium renovation.

My list:
1. Oregon -- best fans, unique stadium, relatively close to Portland
2. Cal -- I love the bay area; can travel by BART to the game
3. UCLA -- clearly superior to SC for an LA trip, IMHO
4. Washington -- great city/setting but stadium is surprisingly poor; track around the field means you are some distance from the action; take the ferry to the game for a unique experience
5. USC -- LA is fun but stadium is in rough neighborhood; good crowds since SC's re-emergence
6. Stanford -- was shocked how little there was to do near campus; new stadium is by all accounts very nice
7. Oregon State -- I literally walked past the stadium thinking it was a High School or JuCo stadium the first time I visited
8. Washington State -- haven't visited, but the hassle of getting there puts it last

Feel free to add your own comments; everyone has their personal favorites.

Updated 1/5/2009: Dan Zeiger published his ranking of Pac-10 stadiums in November '07. Keep in mind that he's ranking stadiums rather than road trips, so there will be some significant differences.

4 comments:

Naima said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
beachdevil said...

Good List Philly...Here's mine, fresh from completing my last Pac 10 road trip this past weekend: UW.

1. Cal - hands down my favorite: stay in SF, take BART to Berkeley. Fans are great, great atmosphere. Fun pre/post game places around stadium/campus.

2. USC - I rank this high just because next to our arch rivals, this is the team to beat in the Pac 10. Pretty central location in LA, and always a full house of 85K plus people. Always a HUGE Sun Devil crowd. Rough neighborhood, but the fans aren't bad at all.

3. UW - Great experience this past weekend in this great city of Seattle. Only negative is track around the field. Great transportation option from downtown: dedicated Husky Stadium buses leaving 4th St and Pike direct to stadium and back: free if you show your game ticket! Hidden transportation gem!

4. Stanford - A little longer to get to Palo Alto from the great city of San Francisco, but you can take CalTrans direct to stadium, with a special stop on gameday in front of the stadium. Haven't been since the stadium renovation, but will go in 2009.

5. Oregon - The only reason I rank this low is in my opinion, they have the worst Pac 10 fans I have come across: hillbilly folk who have never been to the big city. Not a fan of the stupid train noise after every UO touchdown either. A bit of a drive from Portland. Stadium ok, and fun pre-game and half time facility next door.

6. UCLA - I'm done going here, until we actually play in this ancient shrine on a January 1 date. A pain to get to, and while the stadium is a classic, it's by no means modern.

7. Wazzu - What a great experience the one time I visited. Such a chore to get to...by far the most gruelling Pac 10 road trip. A must visit at least one time though. 2009 provides the perfect opportunity: an early October date! Very rare, and believe me, better to go in October than November

8. OSU - I had a lot of fun here, but there is really nothing to do in this small college town. Our half time entertainment was going next door to a convenience store to buy beer, wait in line to pay for it, and drink it while waiting in line.

NaterB said...

I've briefly viewed your blog and like what I see on here. I like that you are covering the events as well as giving personal opinion on various non-game issues. Nicely done.

I started up an Arizona Wildcats blog a few weeks ago and focus on some of the same things that you do. I'm currently in the process of working on finding other team-specific PAC-10 blogs in hopes of building a rapport with the authors and in the end suppliment eachothers blogs.

Would you be interested in conferring with one another about PAC-10 topics, including a rivalry match-up topic between Arizona and Arizona State? You could use my blog as rivals view if you like. Check it out and let me know what you think.

-NaterB
http://sportscapsule.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

I would put USC at the bottom of the list in terms of game experience for football. The visiting team section is absolutely horrible - last time we were thrown in the back of a group of "Raiders" fans and there is no way to view the field since we are pretty much thrown into a deep recess in the Southeast corner behind the bleachers. I would say the tailgates though thrown by the LA Sun Devils are great.