There are so many bowl games nowadays that travel agents could have a field day trying to figure out all the logistics of travel plans for more than 80 teams and their college football bowl travel distances.
Or we could figure it out for you. And it could be useful information for customers at legal online sportsbooks as well as they wager on college football bowls.
USBettingReport.com has assembled the shortest and longest distances that college football teams will traverse during the 2023-24 FBS bowl season. Here is our analysis.
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Longest Distances For Bowl Travel
The prize for the longest trip this college football postseason belongs to Coastal Carolina, which is traveling 4,792 miles from Conway, South Carolina, to Honolulu for the Hawai’i Bowl on Dec. 23. The Chanticleers also are at the biggest disadvantage compared to their opponents; their trip is 2,380 miles longer than San Jose State’s distance of 2,412 miles (to demonstrate how far the islands are from the mainland, San Jose State’s trip is still third-longest of any team). Folks using college football betting sites to wager might take note that teams traveling farther to Honolulu have won five of the past 10 Hawai’i Bowls, so maybe jet lag will be a factor for both teams.
The team with the second-longest voyage won’t mind the flight at all because it gives them a shot at a national championship. Washington will travel 2,608 miles from Seattle to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, a College Football Playoff semifinal. The Huskies, unbeaten and rated No. 2 in the final CFP rankings, will face No. 3 Texas, with the winner going to the national title game on Jan. 8 in Houston. UW has to go 2,0987 miles farther than the Longhorns, who have a fairly short trip to the Big Easy. Washington is a 4-point underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday morning.
The other CFP semifinal participants also have a bit of a haul for the Rose Bowl, Jan. 1 in Pasadena, California. Top-ranked Michigan (2,244 miles) has the fourth-longest distance to cover while No. 4 Alabama has the eighth-longest trip at 2,021 miles.
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Shortest Distances This Postseason
On the other end of the spectrum of college football bowl travel distances are four teams that are pretty much playing at home, and a fifth that just has to cross the Hudson River for its bowl destination.
Memphis has the shortest bowl trip at 7 miles, but it’s a well-worn path to the Liberty Bowl for the Tigers, who use that facility as their home stadium. They face Iowa State in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 29.
UCLA is staying in Los Angeles for the LA Bowl on Dec. 16, where the Bruins face Boise State; BetMGM Sportsbook lists the Bruins as 4.5-point favorites. Actually, this is a shorter trip than UCLA has for its home games. Their stadium, the Rose Bowl, is about 26 miles from campus, whereas SoFi Stadium, site of the LA Bowl, is about 11 miles away. Other teams within easy driving distance are Boston College (Fenway Bowl vs. SMU, Dec. 28 in Boston), South Alabama (68 Ventures Bowl vs. Eastern Michigan, Dec. 23 in Mobile, Alabama) and Rutgers (Pinstripe Bowl vs. Miami, Dec. 28 in The Bronx, New York).
Customers in a state with mobile sports betting apps don’t have to pack their bags to go anywhere; all they have to do is get on their device and place a wager on the bowl game of their choice.
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Jim Tomlin has more than 30 years of experience in sports journalism as an editor and writer and now lends his sports and gambling expertise to US Betting Report among other websites. He has covered pro and college sports from football, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, motorsports and more for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, SaturdayDownSouth.com, SaturdayTradition.com and FanRag Sports.