ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Stanford and Iowa both landed in the Los Angeles area on Saturday. The two teams will square off in the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual next week, but there was some fun to be had before the busy stretch of preparation. The traditional visit to Disneyland came first. The Hawkeyes were happy to bask in some Southern California sunshine -- this is their program's first visit to the Rose Bowl since 1991 -- while the Cardinal are here for the third time in four years.
In their previous trips to Disneyland, Stanford players and coaches had visited the original theme park next door. This time, the newer California Adventure park hosted the Rose Bowl participants. Cardinal head coach David Shaw was thrilled about the change -- "I'm all about this side of the park," he said -- while it didn't really matter to star sophomore Christian McCaffrey, as this was his first-ever visit to Disneyland.
So here's the running back's debut on California Screamin', a high-speed rollercoaster built in "Paradise Pier," an homage to the state's legendary beachfront theme parks:
And here's part of the Iowa contingent enjoying "Cars Land," one of the park's tributes to faded glory of the West and Route 66 days:
Stanford didn't have to travel nearly as far as the Hawkeyes, but both teams are now in the Golden State ahead of their Jan. 1 showdown -- and there's nothing like a couple of shots from Disneyland to mark the occasion. The next special event is the Lawry's Beef Bowl, in which the teams will vie to out-eat each other. Prime rib will be the food used for judgment.