Bill O'Brien made a splash last week when he expressed his desire for more marquee out-of-conference games for Penn State. That got us thinking- which program would you like Penn State to schedule for a home-and-home series, and what destination would make for the best road trip?
As for which stadium I'd want to visit, I'd probably say Oregon's Autzen--I've heard so much about it, and how loud it is. And Oregon the state is supposed to be beautiful.
Devon- I'd love to see Penn State schedule a series with Stanford. They're not a traditional power, and they're sure to take a step back with the loss of Andrew Luck, but they've established themselves as a significant presence out west, and unlike Oregon and USC, one that isn't teeming with scandal. Stanford is also ideologically similar to us, with the heavy emphasis on education, but we haven't played them in 20 years. Let's remedy that.
Where would I like to visit? Well, Austin has been on my to-go list for a long time, and playing Texas would be a ton of fun. I could also use an excuse to take a vacation to Boulder, even though Colorado is hardly an elite non-conference opponent these days.
Ben- We used to schedule a series after a great bowl game: Alabama, after the '79 Sugar Bowl; Miami after the '87 Fiesta Bowl. Lets start a feud with another fan base after a great bowl game, so we have something handy to throw in each other's face. And no, I'm not talking about Houston.
I want at least two out of the following three traits from a destination: 1) great tailgating; 2) a great game; and/or 3) batshit crazy fans - they make for better stories. I was torn between Ole Miss, for 'the Grove' legend, and LSU for Death Valley at night. But I'm not keen on tie-and-jacket - con Ole Miss. And with LSU, there's a chance I could run into some of the 'Swamp People' actors - that's a definite pro. And LSU has food. My God, the food. So it's LSU - Death Valley, at night, after a day hanging out with the crazies you see in a Google image search of "LSU tailgating."
Jared- I've always thought a home-and-home with Texas A&M would be a welcome addition to Penn State's schedule. Both programs have a proud history with a laundry list of gameday traditions. Thanks to conference realignment, Penn State could gain more recognition for knocking off an almighty SEC team full of blazing-fast athletes.
I have always enjoyed watching games in College Station, and seeing these two historic programs face off at Kyle Field would make for compelling football. The fans are easily among the loudest in the nation and the white towels waving in unison, The Spirit of '02 firing away to celebrate each touchdown, and the yell leaders whipping the crowd into a frenzy all have to be awe-inspiring experiences. The large majority of us have never played a game in this type of atmosphere, so watching #12 sprint down the field on kick-offs is certainly an inspirational sight to behold. Be sure to bring a pretty date if this series ever happens, as tradition dictates you must kiss following touchdowns. And to avoid any embarrassment, make sure it's someone who is willing to kiss you in public.
Chris- It's far off the radar as a favored destination for most Penn State fans, but how about the University of Washington? A historically proud program (15 Pac-10 titles, two national championships) in a great American city (Seattle). Sign me up. There's very little history between the two programs. Penn State won both games between the programs, first in 1921 (21-7) and again in the 1983 Aloha Bowl (13-10). I'm looking at this as a rare road trip, and I don't have many reasons or opportunity to visit Seattle.
Mike- USC. Penn State and Southern Cal do have a nice history, nine games total, including a four-game series in the early 90s. The programs represent very different cultures, with the Trojans' West Coast flash contrasting nicely against the reserved Northeast attitude of the Nittany Lions. Tailgating? A warm, sunny day is nearly guaranteed. Add in beautiful beaches a stone's throw from the L.A. Coliseum, and you can count me in for a long weekend trip to Tinsel Town. Runner Up (it was very close): Stanford.