This week, all tailgates run through the state of Florida. When the west side of I-10 has two top-10 teams playing, and the east side has The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, no other state can hold a candle. Saturday presents a unique opportunity to the adventurous soul. It’s something I like to call “El Double.” That’s right: two tailgates, one day.
Rage at the Jacksonville Landing on Friday night, get up early Saturday, and hit the Florida-Georgia tailgate. Rock and roll all the way up until kickoff, then head out. Find a friendly designated driver and take a nap (or listen to the Florida-Georgia game on the radio) while they chauffeur you two and a half hours westward to Tallahassee. This puts you in Tally around 5:30 or 6:00, with a solid two-plus hours to pre-game for FSU-Miami.
Ambitious, I know, but totally feasible. Remember what Coach always says: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
10) Army at Air Force – Saturday, Nov. 2 @ 12 p.m. EST, ESPNU/WatchESPN
I’ve always wanted to go to a game between military academies. I imagine it would be fun sitting around with all the veterans hearing all their wild stories. Plus, there’s a lot of good pageantry. This one also takes place just outside of Colorado Springs, and military bands are awesome. If there’s any chance of seeing some cool gun flipping, then I’m all-in.
9) UNC at NC State – Saturday, Nov. 2 @12:30 p.m. EST, Gameplan/ESPN3
Yeah, yeah, there’s only one real ACC game on Saturday. Yes, basketball season is right around the corner. But hey, there aren’t a lot of good games this weekend and these two campuses are really close to each other. Raleigh is beautiful this time of year.
8) No. 17 NIU at UMass – Saturday, Nov. 2 @ 12 p.m. EST, Gameplan/ESPN3
Did you know the Red Sox won the World Series? Massholes will be out in full force for this one. They don’t care about the football game, but it gives a large setting to talk baseball. Just watch your car if UMass pulls the upset.
7) Mississippi State at No. 14 South Carolina – Saturday, Nov. 2 @ 12:21 p.m. EST, Gameplan/ESPN3
Cockabooses are enough to bump this up during a slow week. What can I say, all you need is one good tradition.
6) UTEP at No. 12 Texas A&M – Saturday, Nov. 2 @ 9 p.m. EST, ESPN2/WatchESPN
It’s Homecoming in College Station, so this one will be rocking. Kevin Sumlin should just let Manziel give a speech, because he’s not coming back for next year’s festivities. This game gets ranked highly because of the after-party, or as I like to call it “Johnny’s last stand.” Aggies, put your cameras away and let Johnny Football blaze a trail through town on his last Homecoming.
5) No. 11 Auburn at Arkansas – Saturday, Nov. 2 @ 6 p.m. EST, ESPN2/WatchESPN
4) No. 21 Michigan at No. 22 Michigan State – Saturday, Nov. 2 @ 3:30 p.m. EST, ABC
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is one of my favorite beers, with it’s “intense hop aroma and malt balance.” Come for the beer, leave for the boring football, come back for the beer to wash away the taste of boring football.
3) No. 18 Oklahoma State at No. 15 Texas Tech – Saturday, Nov. 2 @ 7 p.m. EST, FOX
Kliff Kingsbury has offered up $1,000 to the person with the best costume at this game. A chance at $1K, what more do you need? I hope Kliff likes slutty Spiderman, cause that money is mine.
2) Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville) – Saturday, Nov. 2 @ 3:3o p.m. EST, CBS
Here’s everything you need to know for this game: it has it’s own specialty beer. You’re welcome, and enjoy.
1) No. 7 Miami at No. 3 Florida State – Saturday, Nov. 2 @ 8 p.m. EST, ABC
I may have popped off a little early last week when talking about NC State/FSU being the one game to catch live in Doak. This game, between two undefeated, in-state conference rivals is the one. Any contest involving both Miami and FSU is my personal hell, and even I am itching to attend. Can you imagine the parties afterwards if Jameis goes off again? This is the game every college student lives for. Halloween weekend, night game, bitter rival, Heisman and championship implications on the line: Tallahassee is the center of the tailgate universe this week (sorry Florida and Georgia fans).