I wrote last week that BYU has some great travel destinations on its future football schedule worthy of a plane ticket and a couple days PTO.
But like a pancake, BYU's away-game schedule has two sides. And while it would take a tremendous amount of trying on Tom Holmoe's part to come up with worse venues than Laramie and Fort Collins, there are some seriously subpar cities on the horizon that the BYU football team must endure.
My advice to fans is to sit these roadies out.
Reno, NV - 2013
Calling itself the Biggest Little City in The World, Reno, Nevada might be the World Capital of Despair. Or the armpit of the west.
Men's Health ranked Reno the ninth Saddest City in America, and the meth-addled burg's image isn't helped by the degenerate nature of its downtown establishments and the rampant legal and illegal prostitution.
Although close to Lake Tahoe, Reno itself sits on the edge of a vast and yawn-inspiring desert and, seemingly it's only draw is the National Bowling Stadium.
If there is a place in America where the Jaws of Hell gape open after human beings, it's Reno, NV.
Hartford, CT - 2014
This one's tricky. BYU plays UCONN in 2014, but the game isn't in Storrs, CT where the University of Connecticut is. It's not even really in Hartford. It's in East Hartford. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however, as the downtown portion of the city across the river won't give you much for your trip.
The airport is way out of town, there won't be a UCONN basketball game to experience while there and it's a long way to Boston or New York.
Were this game in late October like the return trip to Provo, there might be some redeeming value in Hartford as a home-base for a trip to Maine or the White Mountains for changing foliage colors.
But, alas, in August Hartford is a muggy, dirty and boring inland city. It's certainly not as bad a locale as others on this list, but unless you've got family in the area or make a trip to NYC out of it, this one's not worth the price of airfare.
Hattiesburg, MS - 2015
The good news is Mississippi temperatures average in the high seventies in October when BYU heads to the Magnolia State to play the University of Southern Mississippi.
The bad news is there's not much more good news. Hattiesburg is a very small town in the middle of swampy, rural Mississippi.
Getting there will be a long trip, requiring a flight into New Orleans or Memphis, where you'll then be fixin' to do a lotta drivin'.
If you do have the itch to go, you can make the four hour drive to the Redneck Riviera and the pristine beaches and noxious beach shops of Panama City, FL.
Tucson, AZ - 2018
While the Cougars' trip to Phoenix for the Neutral game portion of the H-H-N deal is on the aforementioned great destinations list, the trip to Tucson is the yang to that yin.
If Reno is the armpit of the west, Tucson is, well...some undesirable body-part further south.
With a crime rate that's one of the highest in the nation for cities its size, Tucson is at least tops in something.
And since the uber-snobbery of the Pac-12 prevents its teams from playing unwashed out-of-conference teams once league play begins, you can bet this game will take place at the time of year Tucson temperatures reach highs just below those of Riyadh.
If you're one for adventure, Tucson is a place you can get caught in a gang war and come home to a hotel room infested by flying cockroaches, all in the same day!
There are even dozens of sites and blogs devoted to sharing this lovely city's virtues.
Pullman, WA - 2019
Imagine that Tooele, Utah had a college, but wasn't outside Salt Lake City and instead was outside another city like just like Tooele, also with a college. Then put it as far away from a metropolitan area as possible.
That's Pullman, Washington.
Stuck in the middle of the high desert very near the Idaho border, the city not only boasts isolation, but foul winter weather.
Tourists are enthralled by the wheat fields to the north of town, as well as the wheat fields to the south, east and west.
You've got to love a city where its university runs a point/counterpoint article in the school paper entitled "Does Pullman bring down Washington State or does Washington State bring down Pullman?"