J.T.’s 2015 College Football Tour

Time to gas up the Winnebago, pack the portable grill, replenish the cooler and oh yea, let’s not forget the Nerf Football – College Football is back! And so is J.T.’s CFB Campus Tour. In its 11th installment, J.T. takes you from the East Coast to the West Coast to see the most intriguing games (according to him at least) of the 2015 season. The only stipulation is, once the tour has visited a specific venue a.k.a. stadium it can’t revisit for a second trip. Got a game that you feel should make the list? Sound OFF by Tweeting J.T. @JTSOUNDSOFF Using #JTCFBTOUR Now sit back and buckle up. Just because it’s his 11th season of the CFB Tour doesn’t mean that things won’t get a little interesting on the left side, make that right side of the yellow lines.

J.T. Sounds OFF’s 2015 College Football Tour— September 2015

Week 1: (1,047 Miles Charlotte, NC to Arlington, TX)
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE vs. WISCONSIN BADGERS {Site: Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas}

Tailgate Menu: Brats. Brats. And more authentic German sausages, brats, bologna, kielbasa and schnitzel. Followed by, Alabama Conechu Sausage Stuufed Pork Tenderloins & Bacon Wrapped Sausage Bites.

The Game: The last time we saw Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide they were being manhandled by Mighty Urban Myer and the Ohio State Buckeyes. While this isn’t a rematch, it is however a neutral site game against another BIG Ten team. I don’t think Saban & Co. will have any reluctance of taking out their still distasteful feelings towards OSU on the Badgers. Making this game a “must see” on the tour is the fact that Wisconsin returns 7 starters on the Defensive side of the ball including ALL-BIG Ten Preseason Player of the Year (LB) Vince Biegel and (S) Michael Caputo. Hard to imagine that a Nick Saban led team could drop back-to-back games let alone the possibility of facing consecutive defeats against BIG Ten opponents.

Week 2: (1,135 Miles Arlington TX to East Lancing, MI)
OREGON DUCKS at. MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
Site: Spartan Stadium in East Lancing, Michigan
Gameday Tailgate Menu: The Famous 32 from Stateside Grill

The Game: Speed. Speed. And, did I mention Speed? That’s exactly what the Ducks used to expose the Spartans defense a year ago in Eugene. Look for the same when Oregon visits Michigan State for Ducks v. Spartans II. The most glaring missing piece to the rematch will be QB Marcus Mariota who departed for the NFL. The Spartans however welcome back Senior QB Connor Cook – 343 yards passing, 2 TDs/2 INTs in 2014 game – and that could prove pivotal in what should be a much closer contest. It also helps that Cook will have 4 of his 5 linemen from a year ago back along with 75,000+ screaming Spartan Fans. Keep in mind that Oregon’s defense allowed opposing signal-callers to complete passes on 42% of third-down attempts (second to last in the Pac-12) but was also susceptible to the rush (164.4ypg, No. 10 in the Pac-12).  I’m typically not one for sequels.  However, this one in particular has got my attention.

Week 3: (1,105 Miles East Lancing, MI to Baton Rouge, LA)
AUBURN TIGERS at. LSU TIGERS
Site: Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Gameday Tailgate Menu: Bayou Fried Shrimp with Ramoulade Sauce, Muffuletta Dip & Gold & Purple Cupcakes

The Game:  LSU finds themselves in a rare position to start a season. They are the “hunters” as opposed to being the “hunted” in the SEC West. Despite being the home team, I expect them to head into this tilt as the underdog. It will be interesting to see how LSU’s Defense – including 7 returning starters – stacks up against Auburn’s new balanced offensive approach. Gus Malzahn’s fast and up-temp, no huddle offense will have a new leader in 6-5, 240lb Quarterback, Jeremy Johnson. Johnson will have touchdown machine (WR) D’haquille Williams as his prime go to target.  A fantastic early season clash of Conference foes makes this trip to Death Valley.

Week 4: (1,444 miles Baton Rouge, LA to Tempe AZ)
USC TROJANS at. ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS
Site: Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. Gameday Tailgate Menu: Bacon Double Cheeseburger Dip, Bacon Wrapped Grilled Hot Dogs and of course, Football Devilled Eggs. Two and a half hours prior to kickoff, get into the gameday spirit by checking out the “Devil Walk” which takes place in Wells Fargo Arena.

The Game: Don’t let the fact that USC lost 49% of its 2014 Offense faze you. I surely didn’t. Head coach Steve Sarkisian has this years’ Trojans squad primed to make a run for the top of the PAC-12. Most of the excitement generated is in large part because of one name- Cody Kessler. I guess it wouldn’t be fair if I failed to mention the fact that USC also returns 7 starters on the other side of the ball. What makes this game intriguing is the fact that this Sun Devil squad brings a punch of their own. In specifically, ASU returns 8 starters on Defense. A unit which should be one of the best in the entire PAC-12.
…. We’ll turn the calendar over to October in the next edition of my College Football Tour Blog.

In the meantime, I’d Love 2 Hear From You,

@JTSOUNDSOFF on Twitter or LIKE & Sound OFF! at FB.com/jtsoundsoff

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