Welcome back to the road trip. We're taking a week-by-week look at the entire Pac-12 schedule and picking out the game we feel is the marquee game of the week. If you have the time and means, this is the game you want to see.
Thursday Oct. 11
Arizona State at Colorado
Saturday Oct. 13
Utah at UCLA
USC at Washington
California at Washington State
Oregon State at BYU
Stanford at Notre Dame
My choice: Stanford at Notre Dame
Why? It's tempting, from a selfish perspective to head to Boulder and make a long weekend of it. Three nights of good eating and good cheer in the cool fall air, not to mention a game in a great setting that might be more interesting than it appears right now. The same, by the way, could be said for Utah's visit to UCLA.
But there's only one chance this season to see a Pac-12 team play at Notre Dame, so we're headed to South Bend, though I'd recommend staying in Chicago, one of our nation's great food & nightlife cities. This place is on my bucket list, but this place is a bit more reasonable (big Rick Bayless -- yes, brother of Skip! -- fan).
I've heard a few folks -- they come from the land of Nitwit -- say the game-day experience at Notre Dame is overrated. Maybe I'm just sentimental when it comes to college football but I think it's so moving it might be underrated. You've got the Golden Dome, Sacred Heart Basilica, the Grotto, Touchdown Jesus, the Leprechaun, the Friday night pep rally and Notre Dame Stadium. Further, in mid-October, the fall conditions will be perfect as you wander the pristine campus. Make sure you check out the Notre Dame band's pregame performance in front of Bond Hall. Perhaps you'll wake up an echo? I also recommend watching "Rudy" before you go -- "Notre Dame our Mother... PRAY FOR US!"
And, after all that preparation, watch Stanford leave a boot print on the Irish's shiny gold helmets.