2.5 hrs should be plenty of time.
I vote to minimize time spent on I-80 in East Bay which always seems more abundant in nutty drivers and conditions than any other freeway.
From South San Jose, you will probably take Hwy 87 or Hwy 101 northwards and connect on to I-280 going eastward. I-280 turns into I-680 and gets you to Pleasanton/Dublin. Traffic should be flowing well the entire way.
From Pleasanton/Dublin, you can go east to 205 to I5 _or_ continue north on I-680 another 40 miles to pick up I-80 eastbound, north of the delta. Take your pick--I don't think there's much of a difference.
You most likely don't want to get on I-5 to get to West Sac, unless you'll be just over the bridge from Sacramento (plus you've got the mess going through Stockton). Not knowing SJ all that well, except to bypass it, I can't imagine it taking 2.5 hours to West Sac on a Friday a.m. unless lots of accidents. Normally I'd suggest 680 to I-80 to West Sac since it's probably only 30 -45 minutes from the 680/80 connector to West Sac, and by the time you get to I-80, rush hour through Fairfield/Vacaville to Davis/Sac etc should be over, so you need to figure out how long it takes you to get to I-80. I don't think I've ever had it take more than 3 hours in super heavy, stop/go traffic to get from Santa Cruz (17-880-Mission Blvd-680-80) to the Roseville area with a pit stop in the middle, and Roseville is a good 30 minutes beyond West Sac in heavy traffic.. Just pay attention on your drive to radio stations that have traffic reports and if you find one way is blocked for some reason, adjust accordingly.
Google Maps estimates 1 hr. 50 mins. (without traffic) using I-680 and I-80 vs. 1 hour, 58 minutes for I-580/205/5 to get to West Sac. I'd think your worry on traffic would be in the Bay Area, not around Sac, even I-5, after 9 a.m., but could be wrong. I'd probably lean more towards the I-5 route to avoid more Bay Area traffic, but it's been a while since I've driven through Stockton. I'd certainly get a very early start and have a leisurely breakfast along the way or in the Sac area.Edited: 26 April 2013, 02:59
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