Let’s say you just graduated from Cal and you got a job where you telecommute from your home, so you can live anywhere. And you want to live somewhere that you can drive to all the Cal road games in your old 35 mpg compact car. Where do you live?
Battle Mountain, Nevada, of course! This rustic unincorporated town with a population of 2,871 and an elevation of 4,511 is half way between Winnemucca and Elko on I-80 and at the NV-305 junction (key to heading south). It’s a copper and gold mining town in the heart of… um… a copper and gold mining community in the middle of the high desert. Temps in the summer routinely reach 100 and it gets light dustings of snow in the winter. It’s also home to the “World Human Powered Speed Challenge” where the current world record for pedaling a bike was set.
Back to football, here are the driving times:
Arizona State: 12:34
Oregon State: 9:50
UCLA (Rose Bowl): 10:12
Washington State: 11:05
You could setup shop in Winnemucca, but the extra hour of driving to Battle Mountain will cost you on what is already the longest trip to Arizona and push the Colorado and ASU trips up to the clear #2 and #3. On the positive side, you’ll save that same hour on trips the Bay Area, Oregon and Washington (the LA schools are a wash). So maybe with Cal being in the North division, particularly since you’ll be going to more home games at Cal than anywhere else, Winnemucca is your wiser choice. Plus the population of 7,172 will mean a few more friends to hang out with and it’s summer temps are about 5 degrees cooler.
But if you really want to be in the center of the Pac-12, with the shortest driving length to each school, Battle Mountain, NV is the clear and logical choice.
(and no, I’m not moving.)