|Thursday, Sept. 3: Manchester at Trine
Friday, Sept. 4: Luther at UW-La Crosse
Saturday, Sept. 5: Buena Vista at UW-Platteville
Saturday, Sept. 5: Mount St. Joseph at Augustana
Alright, welcome to the Midwest, where the drives are still a little longer, but we have Friday night games. We start with one of our midwestern games, Manchester at Trine. These two have opened the season with each other on a Thursday night for several years now and the games have generally been competitive, though none as close as last year's, which Manchester won 29-28. From there, your Friday drive is pretty long -- seven hours' worth, in fact, not including the fact that you go through Chicago! But Friday evening you end up with Luther at UW-La Crosse. Luther's triple option offense surprised a few people last season, and UW-L is a significant upgrade over Presentation, Luther's 2014 opening opponent. We make up for all that driving you did on Friday by taking it easier on Saturday. It's less than two hours on Saturday morning to see Buena Vista at UW-Platteville, for your second consecutive IIAC-WIAC matchup. Then it's an hour and 40 minutes down to Rock Island, Ill., to see Mount St. Joseph at Augustana and the Augie coaching debut of Steve Bell. That's a tight turnaround, so make sure you get out of Platteville quickly!
You could make this itinerary a lot shorter, especially if you're a WIAC fan, and start instead with Bethel at UW-Stout. And you could turn things around and end with St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire instead if you hit a game such as Carleton at Macalester on Saturday afternoon. But this helps you pick up the MIAA, HCAC and CCIW.