The ultimate Pac-10 road trip

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

An ultimate Pac-10 road trip? Are you kidding me?

Know what the rest of the country would call that: A dream vacation.

You've got the Bay Area (wine country!), Los Angeles (Hollywood!), Seattle (seafood! skiing!), Phoenix (the sun!), Eugene/Corvalis (pinot noir country!), Tucson (the sun, take 2!) and Pullman (the Coug!).

What's more, because the Pac-10 isn't afraid to schedule tough nonconference road games, you've also got some marquee road trips across this great nation of ours.

So buckle up.

Week 1

Sept. 3 -- Oregon at Boise State

Oregon hits the blue Smurf Turf looking to get a measure of revenge for last season's home loss. Both teams have BCS dreams. One might see them end the first Thursday of September.

Dinner at: Gernika Basque Pub & Eatery

Sept. 5 -- LSU at Washington

Talk about a dream tailgate -- this one might provide the best buffet of contrasting regional cuisine ever (Does Tabasco work on salmon?). My guess is these two groups of fans will get along famously. Now, if the Huskies pull the monumental upset, all bets are off.

Dinner at: Elliott's Oyster House

Week 2

Sept. 12 -- USC at Ohio State

UCLA at Tennessee and Stanford at Wake Forest would be fun, too, but this is the nation's biggest intersectional game for the second consecutive year and is not to be missed.

Dinner at: G. Michael's Italian-American Bistro & Bar

Week 3

Sept. 19 -- California at Minnesota

Minnesota has 18 starters back from a bowl team and a fancypants new stadium, so this is a big road test for the Bears. Recall the embarrassing egg the Bears laid last year at Maryland.

Dinner at: The St. Paul Grill

Week 4

Sept. 26 -- California at Oregon

It's hard to pass up Arizona State's visit Between the Hedges -- Athens, Ga., can be riotous fun (not that I'd know anything about that ...). But this is a major showdown of Pac-10 contenders who both envision dethroning USC.

Dinner at: Beppe & Gianni's Trattoria

Week 5

Oct. 3 -- USC at California

If California survives its early-season gauntlet -- and USC survives Ohio State -- this could be a matchup of national title contenders. Or, at least, it should have major Rose Bowl implications.

Dinner at: Le Cheval

Week 6

Oct. 10 -- Stanford at Oregon State

The Beavers will be looking for revenge after dropping their 2008 opener at Stanford, while the Cardinal will make a bid for legitimacy in the conference.

Dinner at: Aqua Seafood Restaurant and Bar

Week 7

Oct. 17 -- USC at Notre Dame

It's the nation's marquee annual intersectional game, and the stakes should be high. USC will be doing its USC thing while Notre Dame will beeither re-entering the national picture or getting ready to fire coach Charlie Weis.

Dinner at: Anywhere in Chicago because that's where you should stay.

Week 8

Oct. 24 -- Oregon State at USC

I feel a little scatterbrained -- did these two teams play last year?

Dinner at: Father's Office in Santa Monica

Week 9

Oct. 31 -- Washington State vs. Notre Dame in San Antonio

Your first thought is Riverwalk, which is nice, but what's great about this trip is you can visit ESPN.com blogger Tim Griffin. He covers the meat-eating Big 12, so you just know he's a maestro over the grill. And he's got a big screen TV so you can watch USC at Oregon.

Dinner at: Tim Griffin's house

Week 10

Nov. 7 -- Washington at UCLA

Any legs left on the "Washington blames Neuheisel for everything" angle? Hopefully not. Get the idea that one of these two teams might be in the midst of a surprisingly good season.

Dinner at: Mijares Mexican Restaurant

Week 11

Nov. 14 -- Arizona at California

Arizona put a pretty good whipping on Cal last year, so the Bears are sure to be hungry for revenge.

Dinner at: Chez Panisse

Week 12

Nov. 21 -- California at Stanford

The Big Game might actually live up to its name.

Dinner at: Original Joe's

Week 13

Nov. 28 -- Arizona at Arizona State

The nasty rivalry is great fun, and a trip to Arizona in late November is always nice. Got a feeling the stakes in this one should be fairly substantial in the overall bowl picture, too.

Dinner at: Blowfish Sushi (hey, it's 45 minutes from Tempe but two minutes from Chez Pac-10 Blog!)

Week 14

Dec. 3 -- Oregon State at Oregon

The "Hail fellow well met" good-natured Civil War re-enacts again (joking, guys, joking!), and it's hard to imagine one -- or both -- of these teams won't be looking at high stakes.

Dinner at: Adam's Place

Dec. 5 -- Arizona at USC

The Wildcats might be standing in the way of the Trojans and a date with Florida in the national title game.

Dinner at: El Cholo