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Road Games

September 1st 2011
By Staff

When your favorite college football team hits the road, so should you!

If you're a fan of motorcycling and college football, these fall rides can lead you to some of the season's biggest games. And when it comes to incredible gameday experiences, it's true what they say: getting there is half the fun!

Nebraska vs. Wisconsin, October 1 at Madison, WI

Not only might this be the perfect time of year to take the 500-mile ride from Lincoln to Madison, but it also has the potential to be one of the biggest games of the season. Nebraska joins the Big Ten this year, and this game is the conference opener for both of these powerhouse squads.

If you decide to stay off the interstates as much as possible, and choose US 20 as a part of your route, consider making a quick stop in Dyersville, Iowa, to check out the Field of Dreams Movie Site. Fans of the movie — and baseball fans in general — have been flocking to this baseball diamond that's cut from a corn field ever since it was built by Universal Studios specifically for the classic 1989 movie. It's a great place to stop and stretch your legs, play catch and have a ball!

As you cross the Mississippi River into southwest Wisconsin, crisp temperatures and fall colors are likely to rule your ride, but once you arrive at the stadium be prepared to see nothing but a sea of red. Both teams' colors are red and white, and their fans definitely dress the part.

What to see in Madison

A trip to Madison just isn't complete without a stop at the Memorial Union Terrace. Located on the shores of Lake Mendota, this is "the" spot on campus to take in an amazing view and grab a brat or a scoop of the legendary Babcock ice cream.

The Madison Farmer's Market is one of Madison's most unique events. Nearly 200 area farmers (and lots of locals) converge on the State Capitol Square every Saturday from 6:30 am to 2 pm to sell their home-grown produce, baked goods, meats and cheeses. There's also live music, so get up early and stop by before the game!

No matter what, don't leave your seat go to the concession stand during the break between the 3rd and 4th quarters. If you do, you'll miss one of college football's best (and most fun) traditions, the "Jump Around." This is when all 80,000 red-clad fans stand up and literally jump around as the House of Pain song of the same name plays over the PA system. You may even feel the entire stadium structure bouncing up and down to the beat. But not to worry, engineering tests confirmed that the stadium will suffer no structural issues as a result of the jumping.

Where to eat

Win or lose, after the game head to The Great Dane. Located just a couple miles from the stadium, at 123 E Doty St., this is one of Madison's favorite spots. There's something on the menu for everyone here, from real Wisconsin cheese curds, to salads and some of the best burgers around, plus, amazing sandwiches and other traditional pub fare.

Auburn vs. South Carolina, October 1 at Columbia, SC

Things are going to get plenty heated down south as last season's national champions head east for what will surely be a fierce battle. You can follow the action in person — and have a great time getting there — by hopping on your bike for a scenic 336-mile ride from Auburn, Alabama, to Columbia, South Carolina's Williams Brice Stadium.

Kick off your ride by exploring the natural beauty of Alabama as you make your way Northeast along I-85 amid the rolling hills and vibrant fall colors. Keep pushing forward into Georgia, until you arrive at the Oconee National Forest. Here you’ll encounter the spectacular Lake Oconee, Georgia’s second-largest lake. Created by Georgia Power in 1979 upon completion of the Wallace Dam on the Oconee River, it's a wonderful place to stretch your legs and snap a few photos.

Eventually you’ll find yourself rolling through Milledgeville (site of Georgia's state capital way back in 1803), and headed toward one of the state’s crown jewels — Augusta. Be sure to swing past the home of golf’s most celebrated course, Augusta National. This ultra-private country club hosts ‘The Masters’ tournament each year, drawing the most legendary players from around the globe. Catch a quick glimpse of Magnolia Lane, the driveway leading up to the clubhouse. With 60 stunning Magnolia trees flanking either side of the road, it’ll become just one of the many sights you’ll cherish long after this ride is over.

What to see in Columbia

If there’s one thing South Carolina fans take seriously — besides the game, itself — it’s tailgaiting. Roaming around the legions of cars, campers and fans, you never know who you might run into outside the stadium — including a former Heisman winner! In fact, for just a $10 donation to the George Rogers Foundation to help fund academic scholarships, fans can have their photo taken with the 1980 Heisman recipient while holding the iconic trophy.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg outside this stadium — why not make your way over to about 50 yards south of the stadium for a little "railgating?" That's right, this is where you'll find one of the most unique tailgating traditions in college football: The Cockaboose Railroad. Deriving its moniker from a combination of the school's "Gamecocks" nickname and the twenty-two cabooses permanently parked on an abandoned stretch of railroad tracks, these reminders of a bygone era, painted in school colors, give new meaning to the words "game day decadence." Each caboose is an ultra-exclusive party pad featuring hardwood floors, marble countertops and, in some cases, a personal staff to satisfy these uber-fans' every need.

If you can’t sweet-talk your way onto one of the railroad cars, don't fret, because kickoff is just around the corner and you won’t want to miss a second of the pregame pageantry. Prepare yourself for one of college football’s most thrilling team entrances as USC takes the field to the theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey”. If it feels like the ground is moving beneath your feet during these moments of pandemonium, it probably is. But have no fear — you’re completely safe, and the game will go on, because, as the old USC saying goes, “It it ain’t swayin', we ain’t playin'."

Where to eat

You're probably familiar with the term "When in Rome…" Well, "when in Columbia," you've simply got to sample the local fare. One delicacy South Carolina residents can't seem to get enough of is pimento cheese, and "the" pre- or post-game spot to grab the area's most legendary pimento cheeseburger and pimento cheese fries is at Rockaway Athletic Club. This local institution located just a couple miles from the stadium — at 2719 Rosewood Drive — is housed in a nondescript brick building with no signs, so it's easy to miss if you're not paying attention. The place is a haven for USC fans on game days, so if you can't find it on your own, just look for a crowd waiting to get in, or ask a fan on the street and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Reminder: The 2011 Allstate Tailgate Tour will be making a stop at this game. Visit us on game day for fun interactive exhibits, a sign-making station and more!

Florida vs. LSU, October 8 at Baton Rouge, LA

Try to leave extra early if you're heading to this annual rivalry game. Not just because the ride from Gainesville, Florida, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana is roughly 600 miles long, but also because there's so much to see and do along the way.

When you reach northwest Florida, take a turn off the beaten path and discover Scenic Route 30-A, an 18-mile stretch of road that hugs the Gulf coastline and is home to some of the most incredible beachside communities anywhere — small, idyllic towns like Seaside, Watercolor and Rosemary Beach.

Continuing west a few hours, make sure you're hungry when you roll through New Orleans, a city that's known as much for its food as its music. The Po' Boy is the city's iconic sandwich, and they don't get any better than the ones served up at Mother's. This place, located in an historic building in the heart of downtown, is more than a restaurant — it's an institution. Just ride down Poydras Street until you see the line of people waiting to get in. Can there be a better advertisement for the quality of the food to be found inside?

What to see in Baton Rouge

If the "Ralph" or "Ferdi" Po' Boys weren't enough to convince you that South Louisianans know a thing or two about food, the tailgating scene in the Tiger Stadium parking lots will end all doubt. Arrive early, make some friends and get ready to see and (hopefully) sample some of the best tailgating fare you've ever tasted: jambalaya, boiled shrimp, crawfish étoufée, gumbo and more. The variety of aromas wafting through the area alone is enough to keep you coming back year after year. Just last season, the Atlanta Journal Constitution named LSU the top college football tailgating spot in the country.

Catch the best view of Baton Rouge at the Louisiana State Capitol Building. Completed in 1932 this Depression-era building was the dream of then-Governor Huey P. Long — and also the site of his assassination in 1935. In fact, the bullet holes from that shooting are still visible in the hallway wall outside the governor's office. Rising to a height of 450 feet, the tower holds the distinction of being the tallest capitol building in the U.S. Tremendous symbolism is evident throughout the inside and outside design, and the observation deck on the 27th floor offers a spectacular view of the capitol gardens and the entire city of Baton Rouge. Hours are 8am - 4:30pm (closed holidays); the observation deck closes at 4pm.

Where to eat

You don't have to go far to satisfy your post-game appetite, LSU-style. Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar is located in the shadow of Tiger Stadium at 3838 Burbank Drive. Founded by two former LSU basketball team walk-ons (hence the name), this place knows what LSU fans crave. Sure, you'll find great burgers, seafood dishes, sandwiches and Cajun favorites here, but you might prefer to try an original dish like "Angels on Horseback," which are Jumbo Gulf shrimp, each stuffed with an oyster, wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and lightly fried.

Reminder: The 2011 Allstate Tailgate Tour will be making a stop at this game. Visit us on game day for fun interactive exhibits, a sign-making station and more!

Stanford vs. USC, October 8 at Los Angeles, CA

Prepare for the ride of your life on the way to one of the most exciting college football games of the year. With just 450 miles separating Stanford Stadium and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a fall cruise down the California coast.

Head west and hop on the legendary Pacific Coast Highway south along some of the most picturesque stretches of road in the country. Just after you ride through Carmel Highlands, you’ll reach the breathtaking 90-mile stretch known as Big Sur. You’ll definitely want to stop somewhere in this area, get off your bike and soak in the sounds of waves crashing into the massive cliffs that plunge into the Pacific Ocean, below.

But that’s just the beginning of your epic journey. Next up is Bixby Bridge, a massive concrete arch more than 260 feet high and 700 feet long. Be sure to have a camera handy to capture one of the most photographed stops along the PCH. From there you’ll come across other various points of interest like Hurricane Point, Pico Blanco and the 1889 Point Sur Lighthouse.

What to see in Los Angeles

First things first, no trip to USC is complete until you’ve taken a stroll past the bronze statue of Tommy Trojan, the ‘most famous man of Troy’. Forged in 1930, Tommy Trojan is arguably one of the most recognized collegiate landmarks in the country. After you’ve snapped a few pics and rubbed elbows with other fans, make your way over to Heritage Hall. You’ll have the chance to experience USC sports history like bronze Heisman Trophy replicas, hundreds of photos and displays, Rose Bowl trophies and much more.

As you're heading into the game, take a moment to consider the historical significance of the venue you’re about to enter. The L.A. Coliseum has hosted some of the world’s greatest sporting events. Built in 1923, it’s the only facility in the world to host two Olympiads, two Super Bowls and one World Series. Settle into your seats and behold the surrounding masses of fans dressed head to toe in Cardinal and Gold. You’re about to become a part of another unforgettable chapter in the storied history of the USC vs. Stanford rivalry.

Where to eat

After the game, evade the masses of fans and take a short sunset ride over to 1410 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. There you’ll find Yankee Doodles, home to some great pub grub, including the “Monster Burger”. This tasty 24 oz. behemoth comes with all the fixings and can help you unleash your inner monster! You’ll also be able to catch up on all the action you missed in the sports world with their 43 TVs. Or partake in some billiards on one of the 28 tables throughout the establishment. It’s the perfect destination for sports fans of every kind.

Share your favorite college football motorcycle road trip in the comments section.

Allstate Insurance Company does not own and is not affiliated with The University of Nebraska, The University of Wisconsin, The University of Florida, Louisiana State University, Auburn University, The University of South Carolina, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, Field of Dreams Movie Site, Babcock Dairy, Madison Farmer's Market, the Great Dane Pub, Augusta National Golf Course, The George Rogers Foundation, Rockaway Athletic Club, Parkway Bakery and Tavern, Walk-Ons or Yankee Doodles. Allstate makes no warranties or representations and is not liable for any goods or services provided by these organizations.

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