by John Stensholt College Football is a huge business in America, but this week's trip to Australia for the players of Stanford and Rice universities shows there are differences between the University-based code and professional sport.
The game is a crucial one for both teams, given it is the season-opener in their Pac-12 Conference and will be telecast in prime-time on the US West Coast on national cable television network ESPN.
Make no mistake though, this trip is still at the heart of it a money-making exercise alongside the chance for hundreds of athletes and support staff to soak up some Australian culture.
A near-capacity crowd of about 40,000 is expected at Sunday's match at Sydney's Allianz Stadium where promoters TEG and TLA Worldwide will put on quite a show.
TEG chief executive Geoff Jones said he hoped to bring more college Football matches to Australia as part of a strategy of putting on unique events.
- Stanford football: position by position outlookSFGate
- Stanford vs. Rice, Week 1: Game time, TV channel, how to watch online (Aug. 26 ...DieHards
- Stanford hopes to bounce back from 'down year'The Register-Guard
- Cal and Stanford on different paths as college football season approachesSan Francisco Chronicle
- Stanford vs Rice: Preview, predictions, TV channelSaturday Blitz
- Football preview: Wide receivers, tight endsThe Stanford Daily
- Behind the scenes of getting Stanford football 'Down Under'Palo Alto Online
- Football preview: Running backs, fullbacksThe Stanford Daily
- No. 14 Stanford opens against Rice in Sydney, AustraliaNews & Observer