SATURDAY, SEPT. 9
GARDNER-WEBB AT WYOMING
Western State Colorado at Adams State
2 P.M. MT
THIS WILL BE coach Craig Bohl's fourth season with the Cowboys, and over that time he's been adamant that Laramie isn't a stopover on his way to somewhere else. Bohl won three straight FCS championships at North Dakota State before taking over a Wyoming team coming off two seasons in which they won a total of nine games. The turnaround has taken time. The Cowboys won four games in Bohl's first season and two in his second, but last year, behind super sophomore quarterback Josh Allen, they won eight and appeared in the Poinsettia Bowl (which they lost 24--21 to BYU). Allen could be the next Carson Wentz, who also played for Bohl, so don't miss an opportunity to see him. The Gardner-Webb game comes on the heels of Wyoming's nonconference matchup at Iowa on Sept. 2; if the Cowboys win in Iowa City, the Allen hype machine will be in high gear.
As an alternate, head to rural Colorado to catch a glimpse of the first woman to receive a scholarship to play college football: Adams State kicker Becca Longo. It's unclear if Longo will see playing time at the D-II school—there are two more experienced kickers on the roster—but if it's looking like she might, this diversion might be worth the trip. It's also a way to hit all three divisions during the trip.
After either game, you have the good part of a week to spend in the Wild West. It's about 10 hours from Laramie (13½ from Alamosa) to Boise, so split up the drive. First, head six hours northwest along I-80 and U.S. 191 to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park. Then make your way 4½ hours west to picturesque Sun Valley, Idaho.
PANTHER CREEK PINOT NOIR
East of the Rockies, pinot noir from Oregon's Willamette Valley can be scarce and sometimes pricy. But in the Pacific Northwest, the stuff is everywhere. A trip to a grocery store and about $20 will land a bottle of the silky, fruit-forward (think plums and dark cherries) elixir. It pairs with steak or seafood or a burger—or nothing at all. On second thought, better get two bottles.