If you’re going to take a road trip to see a college football game, you might as well choose the best game on the schedule in the SEC.
This week, that game is set for Saturday afternoon at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, where Ole Miss hosts Alabama.
Unlike last week’s epic journey, this is a far more manageable car ride.
Let’s have a look:
Why the game could be good: A bunch of reasons. No. 1 Alabama will be trying to avoid a third-straight loss to Ole Miss, which is ranked 19th in this week’s Associated Press poll.
The Crimson Tide will trot out freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts, running back Damien Harris and a handful of talented receivers. Ole Miss will counter with the Landshark defense.
On the other side of the ball, the Rebels boast one of the nation’s best quarterbacks in Chad Kelly. The senior will be looking to put a disappointing opener against Florida State behind him for good by knocking off Alabama. Nick Saban and Jeremy Pruitt will, of course, have other ideas.
Where to eat: For a 2:30 local kick, you’re going to either start from Tuscaloosa very early Saturday morning, or come down the night before. If you’re making a weekend of it, you’ll be in Oxford for breakfast.
You don’t get a lunch option. Go hit a tailgate.
What to see along the way: It’s not a long trip, but if you’re looking for something to see en route, you can stop in Columbus and visit the birthplace of Tennessee Williams. He was the playwright who gave us “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Glass Menagerie” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
What to do besides watch football: If you just went to the game, grabbed a bite of food and left, no one would blame you. But there are other things to do in Oxford.
If you’re traveling with someone who enjoys shopping, there are plenty of places for that, too.
Tailgating options: No trip to an Ole Miss game is complete without a pregame stroll through The Grove
It’s 10 acres of tents, delicious food and Southern hospitality. And yes, opposing fans are welcome.
“We have fans from every opposing team each weekend in this tent,” Lamar Waddell told the New York Times before the 2014 Alabama game. “Right now there are at least four or five ’Bama fans. Here, hospitality reigns. Over there in the stadium. …”
The reporter wrote that Waddell made a throat-slashing motion. Sounds a little hostile.
Need a postgame drink?: Head back to North Lamar and check out The Blind Pig Pub.
Coming back: Save a little money and check this site for the best prices at the pump.