Each week, members of the Lawless Republic staff will have a roundtable discussion on a BYU sports question.
This week’s question for the staff:
What is the best road game for Cougar fans to attend in 2013?
Jeff Hansen (@rakoto10): BYU’s can’t-miss away game this year is Virginia. I know, places like Camp Randall, South Bend and Reliant Stadium might seem more appealing than Virginia, but Virginia will be the most entertaining road game of the year. For starters, it’s not Wisconsin in November and that’s a plus. BYU is slated to play in South Bend at least two more times after this year so there will be plenty of opportunities to see a game in South Bend. Reliant Stadium will be a really cool game to see, but it’s against Houston. Reno will be a good travel game, but only because it will be Kyle Van Noy’s homecoming game and nobody ever wants to go to Logan. This leaves us with Virginia.
We’ve been hearing about Robert Anae’s “Go fast. Go Hard” offense for months and the season opener at Virginia is the first opportunity fans will have to see the game. Taysom Hill hasn’t been seen playing football since October and he will be back on the field. How will BYU replace Ziggy Ansah and how will they use Kyle Van Noy? What role will Michael Alisa play in this BYU offense? And the most important storyline of the season, how much better will BYU be without Riley Nelson drama coming into the game? All of these storylines will be answered at Virginia. Not only is Virginia a historic and scenic place to visit, there are more storylines surrounding the BYU football team during the first game of the year than there will be at any other game this season.
Justin Mace (@jmace22): The Away game that BYU fans cannot afford to miss this year is, without a doubt, Wisconsin. Camp Randall Stadium is one of the most historic stadiums in the country, with nearly 100 years of history this place packs in 80,000 fans! When filled to capacity Camp Randall becomes the fifth largest city in the state of Wisconsin.
This wild ruckus stadium has one of the best student sections in the country. Their students have many traditions, the best might be the “Jump Around”. At the end of the third-quarter the loudspeakers blast “House of Pain” and the entire crowd jumps up-and-down going absolutely crazy.
The truth is you can go back to Wisconsin in 2018 but right now Wisconsin is a national powerhouse with momentum to do great things next year, and BYU could get in the way of their big plans.
Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper): This is a tough question. One of the many things that made me excited about BYU’s move to Independence was the national schedules the Cougars were going to face on an annual basis. Since 2011, BYU has traveled across the country for their national fan base to experience BYU Football up close. In 2013, there is no shortage of great road venues across the country.
Like Jmace, I have to go with Wisconsin. BYU hasn’t been to Camp Randall Stadium since 1981. BYU won that game led by a punky QB named McMahon. Needless to say, it has been awhile.
Playing Wisconsin in November could bring an interesting weather element. It will be a true Big Ten experience if you ask me. And you can’t help but get excited about the food possibilities in Wisconsin. Load up on that cheese and maybe get a spirit or two if you’re into that sort of thing.
Also, the matchup is going to be great. Heading into 2013, Wisconsin hasn’t lost a non-conference home game since 2003. Former Utah State Head Coach, Gary Andersen is the new man in charge for the Badgers who set their sights on a fourth straight Rose Bowl appearance. So book your flights to Wisconsin this November.
Bean Mace (@beanmace): For me the premier BYU road game in 2013 is Novemeber 9th showdown with Wisconsin. The reason I list the trip to Madison as my number one road trip isn’t just due to the fact that it has one of the best atmospheres in all of college football, not because the Badger fans can party with the best of em. But because depending on how the season plays out, this could be a HUGE game not only for BYU and Wisconsin, but for all of college football.