August 19, 2008

Road warriors: How far will teams travel?

Fresno State often boasts it will play anybody, any time, anywhere.

The Bulldogs will prove it this season, especially the "anywhere" part.

They will travel more than 18,000 miles round trip for their seven road games this season. The Bulldogs' season-opener at Rutgers is the nation's longest drivable trip, at 2,891 miles one way. Fresno also will travel 2,376 miles one way for a Sept. 20 game against Toledo.

MILES TO GO BEFORE I PLAY
The longest round-trip travel for conference games:
ACC: Boston College at Florida State, 2,634 miles
Big East: Syracuse at USF, 2,452 miles
Big Ten: Penn State at Iowa, 1,558 miles
Big 12: Colorado at Texas A&M, 1,906 miles
Conference USA: UTEP at East Carolina, 3,816
Mid-American: Temple at Central Michigan, 1,428 miles
Mountain West: San Diego State at TCU, 2,642 miles
Pac-10: Washington at Arizona, 3,154 miles
SEC: Florida at Arkansas, 1,912 miles
Sun Belt: FIU at North Texas, 2,720 miles
Western Athletic: Idaho at Louisiana Tech, 4,348 miles
Using the zip code of the college campus to the zip code of the opponent's stadium, Rivals.com compiled this season's driving distances for each Division I-A football program, excluding Hawaii (its road games are not drivable). Fresno State gets the prize.

Fresno State's games at Rutgers, Toledo, UCLA, Utah State, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State and Boise State will cover at estimated 18,190 miles.

On the other end of the spectrum is N.C. State, which travels the least of the I-A schools. The Wolfpack have five road games, leave their home state just three times and never cross more than one state line en route to traveling 1,734 miles.

N.C. State's longest trek is a 584-mile round trip to Clemson. The Wolfpack travels less than 100 total miles for games at North Carolina and Duke.

Houston will make the shortest road trip of the season, when it travels 8 miles one way to play crosstown rival Rice in a Conference USA game on Nov 29.

As for Fresno fans who truly want to drive to all the games, the American Automobile Association says the average price for a gallon of gasoline currently is $3.80. Therefore, a person driving a vehicle that gets 20 miles per gallon would spend about $3,456 in fuel costs this season. An N.C. State fans who wants to drive to each game? Figure about $330 in fuel.

MORE: Longest/Shortest Trips | Long/Short of the Big Six

ROAD SCHOLARS
Here's how many round-trip drivable miles each Division I-A program will travel this season. Of note: Ten of the top 14 are non-"Big Six" schools, while 19 of the bottom 22 are "Big Six" schools.
SchoolMiles
1. Fresno State 18,190
2. UTEP 15,016
3. Florida International 14,692
4. Florida Atlantic 14,534
5. Louisiana Tech 13,648
6. Notre Dame 13,348
7. Oregon State 13,278
8. San Diego State 13,134
9. Stanford 12,984
10. Idaho 12,798
11. Washington State 12,104
12. UCF 12,056
13. Air Force 11,402
14. New Mexico State 11,134
15. California 10,960
16. USC 10,926
17. Oregon 10,756
18. Army 10,690
19. Boise State 10,370
20. Nevada 10,182
21. Miami 9,952
22. Colorado 9,166
23. Arizona 9,094
24. Utah State 8,906
25. North Texas 8,640
26. Houston 8,466
27. SMU 8,466
28. Western Michigan 8,412
29. Boston College 8,372
30. TCU 8,312
31. San Jose State 8,274
32. Washington 8,206
33. Bowling Green 8,204
34. Iowa State 8,160
35. Utah 8,128
36. Arizona State 8,004
37. Louisiana-Lafayette 7,858
38. Oklahoma State 7,812
39. Troy 7,806
40. Navy 7,710
41. Virginia Tech 7,588
42. South Florida 7,462
43. Wyoming 7,420
44. East Carolina 7,398
45. Marshall 7,386
46. Ohio State 7,364
47. Georgia 7,264
48. Arkansas State 7,140
49. Syracuse 7,018
50. Arkansas 6,868
51. UCLA 6,850
52. Wisconsin 6,840
53. Texas Tech 6,818
54. Michigan State 6,810
55. Baylor 6,674
56. Louisiana-Monroe 6,568
57. BYU 6,544
58. Oklahoma 6,474
59. Tennessee 6,354
60. Rice 6,328
SchoolMiles
61. Ohio 6,238
62. UAB 6,218
63. Wake Forest 6,126
64. Colorado State 6,050
65. West Virginia 5,930
66. New Mexico 5,878
67. Tulane 5,818
68. Pittsburgh 5,646
69. Kent State 5,604
70. Texas 5,584
71. Minnesota 5,496
72. Middle Tennessee State 5,484
73. Western Kentucky 5,364
74. Temple 5,318
75. Toledo 5,312
76. Tulsa 5,278
77. Penn State 5,248
78. Rutgers 5,246
79. Southern Miss 5,130
80. Connecticut 5,050
81. Cincinnati 4,962
82. Florida State 4,854
83. Buffalo 4,788
84. Texas A&M 4,762
85. LSU 4,736
86. Missouri 4,690
87. Florida 4,584
88. UNLV 4,518
89. Northern Illinois 4,402
90. Louisville 4,398
91. Eastern Michigan 4,386
92. Ole Miss 4,352
93. Memphis 4,310
94. Kansas 4,296
95. Kansas State 4,278
96. Clemson 4,230
97. Akron 4,218
98. Georgia Tech 4,178
99. Iowa 4,134
100. Maryland 4,122
101. Northwestern 4,024
102. Illinois 3,982
103. Kentucky 3,896
104. South Carolina 3,838
105. Vanderbilt 3,778
106. North Carolina 3,534
107. Auburn 3,474
108. Michigan 3,416
109. Alabama 3,352
110. Virginia 3,060
111. Nebraska 3,050
112. Mississippi State 3,036
113. Indiana 3,018
114. Duke 2,922
115. Miami (Ohio) 2,874
116. Central Michigan 2,599
117. Ball State 2,464
118. Purdue 2,280
119. N.C. State 1,734
Mileage source: mapquest.com

TOP 10 LONGEST ROUND TRIPS
1. Fresno State at Rutgers 5,782
2. California at Maryland 5,616
3. Oregon State at Penn State 5,390
4. USC at Virginia 5,112
5. Fresno State at Toledo 4,752
6. Michigan State at California 4,662
7. Ohio State at USC 4,504
8. Stanford at Notre Dame 4,494
9. Oregon at Purdue 4,482
10. Tennessee at UCLA 4,356
TOP 10 SHORTEST ROUND TRIPS
1. Houston at Rice 16
2. North Carolina at Duke 20
3. Akron at Kent State 28
4. USC at UCLA 34
5. North Carolina State at Duke 46
6. San Jose State at Stanford 46
7. Florida Int'l vs. Florida Atlantic at Miami 48
8. Navy vs. Notre Dame at Baltimore 52
9. North Carolina State at North Carolina 52
10. Bowling Green at Toledo 54

FAR AND NEAR
Here's a look at the 10 "Big Six" schools that travel the most this season; seven of the top 10 are in the Pac-10:
SchoolMiles
1. Notre Dame/Independent (6th)13,348
2. Oregon State/Pac-10 (7th)13,278
3. Stanford/Pac-10 (9th)12,984
4. Washington State/Pac-10 (11th)12,104
5. California/Pac-10 (15th)10,960
6. USC/Pac-10 (16th)10,926
7. Oregon/Pac-10 (17th)10,756
8. Miami/ACC (21st)9,952
9. Colorado/Big 12 (22nd)9,166
10. Arizona/Pac-10 (23rd)9,094
And here's a look at the "Big Six" schools that travel the least this season; there are three each from the ACC, Big Ten and SEC:
SchoolMiles
1. North Carolina State/ACC (119th)1,734
2. Purdue/Big Ten (118th)2,280
3. Duke/ACC (114th)2,922
4. Indiana/Big Ten (113th)3,018
5. Mississippi State/SEC (112th)3,036
6. Nebraska/Big 12 (111th)3,050
7. Virginia/ACC (110th)3,060
8. Alabama/SEC (109th)3,352
9. Michigan/Big Ten (108th)3,416
10. Auburn/SEC (107th)3,474

Olin Buchanan is the senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at olin@rivals.com.



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