Last week BYU Athletics announced a home-home-neutral agreement with the University of Arizona to play three football games starting in 2016. This, following many such announcements which, allow the Cougars to now boast a diverse, trans-national football schedule that's way more exciting than playing the same boring teams over and over again.
And for many fans, that schedule means many new travel destinations.
With all due respect (none) to Albuquerque, Fort Collins and Laramie, there are six tremendous and unique destinations on BYU's future football slate which we will take a look at here.
Charlottesville, Virginia - 2013
Charlottesville rests about an hour and a half drive from Washington, DC at the start of the Appalachian Mountains. While there's a solid contingent of backwoods folk who have an aversion to full mouths of teeth, the area is mostly beautiful and a great place for a visiting football fan.
Home to just 40,000 people, Charlottesville is a true college town (meaning there's not much more for students to do than go to class and get drunk). But has an amazing backdrop of lush greenery and southern charm.
The surrounding area is full of history, including Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and numerous Civil War sites. And as you'll likely fly into D.C., you've got the draw and intrigue of the world's locus of power and corruption which allows this trip to be a full vacation. Stay long enough you might chance to see a clandestine bribery meal between a lobbyist and a congressman, or see a senator pick of a Lady (or Gentleman) of The Night.
South Bend, Indiana - 2013
South Bend is lucky it's the epicenter of College Football History. Because the city itself is small, remote and uninteresting without the Notre Dame Gorilla to anchor it.
But, alas, this is a destination for football fans. A mecca, if you will, but with slightly less chanting and religious dogma. Slightly less.
Every true fan will want to take the long drive from Chicago or Indianapolis and make the pilgrimage to see Touchdown Jesus, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and a sure-to-be over-ranked Irish team take on the Cougars in late November.
Murfreesboro, Tennessee - 2014
Most of you are probably scratching your head right now trying to recall having ever heard of Murfreesboro.
And honestly, I've never been there. But it's just 30-some miles south of Nashville, a city I'm well acquainted with - and endeared to.
Nashville is a great southern city on a list that's admittedly short. More stately and gentlemanly than most cities under the Mason-Dixon, Music City boasts much for visitors.
It's easy to get to from SLC International, has amazing restaurants, good tourist attractions and a clean, friendly downtown area with many unique buildings and museums. And if you're a country music fan, well...
By all accounts Murfreesboro itself, with over 100,000 people offers some places of interest as well and could round out the trip to Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium where the Blue Raiders will host the Cougars in November 2014.
Ann Arbor, Michigan - 2015
Straddling the Huron River is lovely Ann Arbor Michigan. And the University of Michigan isn't just a school in the city. It's campus is in the heart of downtown and in a spectacular setting.
Stereotypical campusus of higher education feature edifices of gothic and baroque architecture set among treelined walks and sprawling lawns. This is the University of Michigan.
Not to mention the football history.
The city itself doesn't offer a ton for the non-imbibing BYU fan, and you must fly into the gaping black-hole of despair that is Detroit to get there.
But no real college football fan should pass up a chance to be the vast minority visiting team fan among a boiling crowd of Maize and Gold.
Recently announced, BYU and the Arizona Wildcats will have a feline fight at University of Phoenix Stadium some time during the 2016 football season.
While the date of the game has yet to be announced, we know the myopically ethnocentric Pac-12 doesn't allow its teams to play unwashed, out-of-conference teams once conference play starts. Unless you're USC or Stanford.
That means the game is likely to be sometime in September or early October. Here's hoping for the latter, which means a trip to the heat and golf at a time Utah is gearing up for snow and the resultant bad out-of-state drivers.
While the stadium is far west of town, suburbs like Tempe, Scottsdale and Glendale offer awesome resorts, dining and relaxation. And with a brutal schedule and a likely freshman quarterback, BYU fans may need a little R&R by then.
Washington, D.C. 2016
In a very unique arrangement, BYU will travel to FedEx field in Landover, MD September 2016 to take on the Mountaineers of West Virginia.
This neutral-site game should see a great showing by Cougar fans, both local and travelling, especially they who wish to make a vacation to the nation's capital part of the agenda.
Playing in the home of the Washington Redskins (likely to be the Washington Human Beings by then due to the misguided angst of many over the current mascot) the game will give fans a unique environment to experience a warm Saturday game in the midst of our dim-witted civic leaders.
Better, it will give BYU fans a chance to meet and enjoy time with opposing fans less likable, more uncouth, and redder-necked than the good folks in Laramie.
The worst of the worst
Stay tuned for the sequel to this article, were I take a look at the very worst cities BYU will visit in upcoming football seasons.