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Best Road Trips in the Big Ten Non-Conference Schedule

We’ve all extolled the virtues of a trip to Lincoln or taking over Evanston, but where should you head during the first four weeks?

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Michigan v Alabama Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As I planned out my fall research trip schedule, two lucky opportunities fell into my lap—not only did I plan to be out on the research trail during college football season, but my fiance works two weekends when the ‘Cats are on the road.

I’ve checked off plenty of must-sees in the Big Ten: Lincoln, madison, and Ann Arbor, to name a few (I only have Columbus and Happy Valley to go). But with the opportunity to drive from Atlanta to Durham and to get from Boston to College Park this fall, it got me thinking—who are the luckiest Big Ten fanbases in terms of road trip material?

1. Maryland Terrapins at Texas Longhorns

Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX || Sept. 2 || StubHub: $40

There are criticisms of the tailgating at UT being too spaced out and inaccessible, especially when the Longhorns aren’t good. But if Austin is dry enough, the chance to experience that city alone puts it at the top of the list. The chance to see whether Tom Herman is building something real with the Burnt Orange is a bonus. Reasonably affordable on StubHub, no less.

2. Nebraska Cornhuskers at Oregon Ducks

Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR || Sept. 9 || $85

Is that a spendy ticket? Yes, but...probably worth it? Fire up the RV and get over them mountains, Husker fans, because the chance to see Big Red at a reasonable time out in craft beer country is more than worth it. Autzen has been ranked one of the best college football tailgates, and you’ve got a chance to watch Heisman Candidate Tanner Lee throw all over a suspect Ducks secondary.

3. Northwestern Wildcats at Duke Blue Devils

Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC || Sept. 9 || $6

Look, you can laugh at this homerish pick all you want, but if you don’t join me at this game, you’re turning down

  • Tailgating in the South without having to be in the South, if you catch my drift
  • North Carolina barbecue, objectively the best barbecue.

4. Michigan Wolverines vs. Florida Gators

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX || Sept. 2 || $38

Tailgating events are going for more than a ticket to this one, so if you can stomach JerryWorld and have a chance to hop a Spirit flight to Dallas, there’s still time to see this one for relatively cheap! I actually really enjoy Dallas itself, especially the corridor through downtown and up to Southern Methodist’s campus, but the sterile nature of a neutral site game bumps this one down.

5. Illinois Fighting Illini at South Florida Bulls

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL || Sept. 15 || $21

Do you have to deal with Florida Man? Probably. Is Tampa a sprawling mess? Yep.

But Raymond James is a fine place to watch a game, you’ll likely have some room to spread out and catch some rays, and South Florida is probably very good, so make it a weekend trip, get lost in a house of ill repute in Ybor City, drink some Cigar City brews, and pretend you’re just on vacation, not following the Illini.

6. wisconsin badgers at BYU Cougars

LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT || Sept. 16 || $51

I’m sure Provo is beautiful, and if you’re a wisconsin fan near the Left Coast, it’s probably worth the trip. But the culture shock in Salt Lake City was enough for me, and heading down to Mormon Disneyland...I don’t know if it’s worth slamming a few 3.2% Natty Lites and watching your starting center get his neck stomped on by a linebacker.

7. Minnesota Golden Gophers at Oregon State Beavers

Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR || Sept. 9 || $13

Go up to Nebraska at Oregon, then divide everything (stadium, tailgate, atmosphere, talent of teams) by 2.

Except the ticket price. Divide that by 6.5.

8. Purdue Boilermakers at Missouri Tigers

Faurot Field, Columbia, MO || Sept. 16 || $32

A school that’s down 2,000 in enrollment, a football team that went 4-8 in 2016, and a school and city ripped apart by racial tensions?

And I haven’t even gotten to Purdue yet.

Columbia is vaguely accessible, though, so if you’re a Boilermakers fan dying to see them on the road...I guess here’s your answer?

9. Indiana Hoosiers at Virginia Cavaliers

Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA || Sept. 9 || $16

Noooooooope. Not unless I lived there. (Sorry, Creighton.)

Also, O/U on “If this were a basketball game” mentions on TV broadcast: 7.5

10. Ohio State Buckeyes at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, NJ || Sept. 29 || $84

I’ll admit it: I really want to try a fat sandwich from a grease truck. Lucky for the Buckeyes they get to do it this year!

Also it’s just worth pointing out people will pay $84 to watch this shit-stomping.

11. Iowa Hawkeyes at Iowa State Cyclones

(a dump in the middle of a cornfield, central Iowa)

Ames is so shitty that I rehashed a tired joke about rutger not being in the Big Ten just so I could extra shame it in last place.

Do not pay money to watch this game.

Are you taking any road trips this fall? Do you have recommendations for Big Ten fans visiting any of those cities? Let us know in the comments!


Which Big Ten road game would you most like to visit in 2017?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Maryland at Texas
    (42 votes)
  • 37%
    Nebraska at Oregon
    (55 votes)
  • 6%
    Northwestern at Duke
    (10 votes)
  • 7%
    Michigan vs Florida in Dallas
    (11 votes)
  • 19%
    Other (comments)
    (29 votes)
147 votes total Vote Now