California. The Golden State. It has great weather, beautiful landscapes, big booming cities and is the best state for college football.
Yes, I wrote that. At this moment in time, California is the best state for college football in quality, quantity, scenery and overall awesomeness.
Now I know there are those in Texas, Florida, Alabama and even Ohio, where the current college football champions reside, the Ohio State Buckeyes, who disagree. That is fine. But think about this… at the end of the game, the Buckeyes have to go back to Ohio. That is not a knock on Ohio (I heard Cleveland rocks!), but to go back home to either Ohio or California after any game, going back to Cali wins every time!
The College Football State of Gold
Oct 18, 2014; Berkeley, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Jim Mora Jr. stands on the field before the start of the game against the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Soon we will be starting the 2015 season and the slate will be wiped clean. Ohio State, though defending champs, has not won a thing in the new season. No one has, but looking at a few preseason polls, it is easy to see that the majority of talent by state is in California.
Nov 15, 2014; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw leads his team on to the field before the game against the Utah Utes at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
Let us take Sports Illustrated for example. California has the most teams in the SI Top 25 Preseason Poll (USC, UCLA and Stanford). Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia and Oklahoma only have 2 schools in the poll. The rest of the 50 states have one or none.
Now I get it, preseason polls are purely opinion. Even the majestic AP poll is taken with a grain of salt in the modern era (especially with the College Football Playoff Committee taking over the rankings), but generally they are good indicators of the quality of the teams going into the season. Advantage: CA
California, The Beautiful
Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Aerial view of the Rose Bowl during the 2014 BCS championship game between Florida State Seminoles and Auburn Tigers. Mandatory Credit: Tim Long/Long Photography/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports
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So now I turn to the environments that California college football gives us. The first thing that comes to mind is the weather.
Even up in the bay area, Cal, Stanford and San Jose State have better weather late in the season than most of the country. And at the beginning of the season, forget about it! There’s great weather from The Farm in Palo Alto, all the way down to Qualcomm Stadium where the San Diego State Aztecs play.
Sure, it may be really hot during some games at the end of summer, but would you rather be in shorts, sandals and a t-shirt at a football game or bundled-up in freezing weather that is so cold it distracts you from the actual game?
Most of all, California is beautiful. Whether it is looking at San Francisco Bay from Tightwad Hill in Berkeley to the view of the San Gabriel Mountains behind the Rose Bowl to the skyline of downtown LA north of the LA Memorial Coliseum, every game all season long is fantastic (pending the home team wins). I will even give Fresno State‘s Bulldog Stadium some love. Not a lot of scenery in Central California, but a damn fine spot to watch college football game. Advantage: CA.
Dec 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; The USC Trojans walk onto the field before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 2014 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Picture this… your team just won their conference and it has just been announced they will play at the Rose Bowl on January 1 (depending on the year). Every fan’s reaction will be, “WOO! We are going to LA for New Year’s!” Or what if your team did a decent job and it just came out that they are playing at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego? The reaction, “Alright, a sunny post-Christmas!”
Even finding out your team is going to the Pac-12 Championship or the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara is a decent trip. It is better than finding out you are going to the Belk Bowl, especially when the first question you blurt out is, “What and where is a Belk Bowl?” FYI, it is a department store, and like the bowl, it is in North Carolina. See what I mean? Advantage: CA.
Now I know many of you in other states will disapprove and give reason why your state is the best for college football, but really, California as a collective state (that gets the benefit of being large) is the best state for college football.
So come on down and check it out! Although, remember to bring your own water. We are running out.