Road to CFB is the lifelong journey to experience a game day at every Division-I college football stadium in the country. As of 2022, there's 131 items on the list and that number's growing.
That's 131 different towns, 131 different campuses, 131 different cultures, and thousands of different traditions. And I'm most excited to share those experiences with you.
From big cities like Austin and Los Angeles to the most remote college towns like Pullman and Starkville, my goal is to experience game day. Save the game highlights for SportsCenter– I'm here to share what it's like to watch the game from the stands. That includes the best bars, the most unique traditions, and the most exciting tailgates.
What is it like to be a fan of State University for a day?
Road to CFB: The Beginning
In the fall of 2015, I was a freshman at Bowling Green State University. Part of the freshman experience is signing up for whatever with whoever and the school was offering a spot on a fan bus to travel to see the Falcons play at Purdue.
Despite having grown up a diehard Ohio State fan, I'd never been to a college football game.
We trekked through four hours of cornfields to West Lafayette (bonus points if you can point to it on a map). The second I stepped off the bus, I was overwhelmed with senses: the smell of charcoal BBQ grills, the chatter and excitement of tailgates, the overall explosiveness in the air of a Big Ten Saturday.
We sat near the field in the end zone at Ross Ade Stadium. The first thing I noticed on this intoxicating game day was that the stadium had a distinct smell. It's piney and aromatic, which complemented the uniform brick buildings and campus pines perfectly.
Out comes Purdue's band with the World's Largest Drum. This wasn't an NFL game– there was so much to take in and enjoy. The chants, the band, even the PA announcer put me in a state of euphoria that I haven't felt outside of a college football stadium.
To top it all off, Bowling Green upset Purdue, running in a game-winning touchdown with nine seconds left. But that was the only play I remember.
Since that September day, I've been chasing the high of game day.
The First Four Years
A lot of sports fans have their bucket list: Visit every MLB stadium or catch every home game for their favorite team. To me, there was no deliberating what I wanted.
I decided to chase the journey officially in 2018. It began as a journey to visit every stadium, empty or full. Empty stadiums are cool (and I still chase those), but it wasn't game day. It wasn't fulfilling enough. And thus Road to CFB was born.
Since then, I've been to a game at over 30 different venues and visited 104 total. No two have been even remotely alike and each one pulls me right back into that 2015 afternoon.
I've been to schools as big as Texas and as small as Kent State. Each one has its own unique story and feel to it. Since schools just can't replicate one another (and don't want to), it's an endless chain of excitement and wonder.
Really, there's no sport that compares.
Follow Along With The 2022 Journey
This year, I can't wait to share over a dozen new game day experiences with you. My goal is to help you feel the same excitement that school's most diehard fan feels on Saturday morning. I want to share the best traditions, the best bands, the best crowds, and the best stadiums with you every Saturday.
Check in weekly for new game day write ups and follow along with the journey here.
In 2022, I'll be venturing the Midwest, with schools like Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State, and Notre Dame on tap. However, my travels aren't limited to the biggest schools in the country, I'll also be visiting the MAC, with games at Toledo, Western Michigan, and Akron lined up as well.
Will I see you out on the road? Check back next Monday for a preview of where I'll be in 2022. Also follow along on social media (as that's where I share the most!) on Instagram and Twitter. Better yet– if you have travel suggestions or will be out on the road, send me a message. I'm always excited to meet new friends.
Happy college football season, to one and to all.
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