Oregon State versus USC, at Corvallis, Nov. 20
Known for the ugliest football uniforms in the Pac-10, OSU might resonate with the boys of Troy for another reason.
Enoteca Wine Bar is cool and swanky, so, as one OSUer says, "it's perfect for the L.A. crowd" (136 S.W. Washington Ave. Corvallis;  758-9095, http://www.enotecawinebar.com). If feeling a little under the wine, nothing shouts remedy like the loco moco from Local Boyz Hawaiian Café; the shoyu chicken sells out early (1425 N.W. Monroe Ave., Corvallis;  754-5338, no website). Just west of Cow-Vallis sits Mary's Peak, the highest point in the Coast Range. If the weather is nice — one can only hope — the view is peerless (http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/siuslaw/recreation/tripplanning/maryspeak/index.shtml).
Arizona State versus UCLA, at Tempe, Nov. 26
There's a red dude with horns and a pitchfork on ASU's helmets. He hints at the five layers of skin one can leave seared to the seats at Sun Devil Stadium.
The best valley restaurant no tourist has ever heard of is House of Tricks. The fare is "contemporary American," which means fresh and innovative (114 E. 7th St., Tempe;  968-1114, http://www.houseoftricks.com). The name means … not what you think. Forget the awful beer advertised with every sporting event, and get on over to Four Peaks Brewing Co. for a Kilt Lifter Scottish-style ale (1340 E. 8th St., Tempe;  303-9967; http://www.fourpeaks.com). The Heard Museum is to Native American art what the Louvre is to dead white guys from Europe (2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix;  252-8848, http://www.heard.org).
Eight games. Eight cities. Eight weekends of fun. And just think, we're all going to Salt Lake and Boulder soon.