In an effort to stave off the college football withdrawal I've been going through since my PS2 bit the dust over the weekend (as well as keep myself from doing any work whatsoever today), I decided to design the most complete college football roadtrip in history.
This is, naturally, inspired by my previous post which mentioned that I wanted to do something like this at some point. I can't do it this fall (unless the good folks at Powerball come through for me in an unexpected way in the next few days), but it's a start.
I'm stipulating that this is all driving, because it's a college-style roadie. I don't know about you, but I never had the money to hop in a jet after paying for Econ textbooks.
I figure it's not realistic to think that you could drive much more than 600 miles in a day (given that most of the midweek games are at night, and you'll have less than 24 hours to get from one place to another), so going from the east coast to the west coast is out. However, if you're going from a day game to a night game the following day, I'm willing to stretch the mileage a little bit.
And I'm talking D-1A stadiums only. I'm sure St. John's in Minnesota or Pacific Lutheran or Mount Union are incredible, lovely places to see a game. But I don't give a shit. Maybe next year.
Also, I'm interested in the following things:
1) Hitting some of the best stadiums/atmospheres in the country.
2) I also want to see as many big games as possible (hello, OSU-Texas!)
3) I want to see as many games as possible, so in some cases (especially early in the season) I'm going to be sacrificing quality for quantity. For example, given the choice between seeing two games on a Thursday/Friday, and one slightly better game, I'll probably take the two. Unless that one game is bitchin' sweet. It's all a judgement call.
Oh, by the way, this took me like a million hours to figure out.
Away we go...
Thursday 9/1, 7:00 pm: Eastern Michigan @ Cincinnati (The only Thursday game between two D-1A teams that would allow you to get to your Friday night game under the prescribed rules.)
Friday 9/2, 7:30 pm: Indiana @ Central Michigan (Arizona @ Utah is an easy choice here, except you can't get to Salt Lake City in a day from any of the Thursday game sites. The closest one is the Arizona State game, and that's more than 700 miles away). Driving today: 391 miles.
Saturday 9/3, 12:00 pm: Bowling Green @ Wisconsin (Great college town, plus a legitmate chance for a mid-major to win on the road. Easy choice.) Driving today: 424 miles.
Sunday 9/4, 3:30 pm: Louisville @ Kentucky (It's a hike, but since I've got more than 24 hours from kickoff to kickoff, I think I can make it. Unless I ended up passed out in a gutter on State Street the night before. Always a possibility) Driving today: 561 miles.
Monday 9/5, 8:00 pm: Miami @ Florida State (It's a little longer than the prescibed 600 miles, but I've got more than 24 hours from the end of the last game until the start of this one, so I think it's doable. This is the absolute no-brainer game of the week.) Driving today: 648 miles
Friday 9/9, 8:00 pm: Pittsburgh @ Ohio (A stopover at the misses' alma mater sets up an incredible day of football on Saturday) Driving since Monday: 851 miles
Saturday 9/10, 10:30 am: Kansas State @ Marshall (But what about the Ohio State-Texas game, you ask? Check out the kickoff time. I'd be out of Huntington before 1:30... plenty of time to make it to the Varsity Club for some pregaming before the 8:00 kickoff) Driving since last stop: 81 miles.
Saturday 9/10, 8:00 pm: Texas @ Ohio State (The non-conference game of the year. Period, end of story.) Driving since last stop: 133 miles (214 total today)
Sunday 9/11, 1:00 pm: Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns (Doesn't really count, but there are no college games this day, and you've got a ton of time to get to your next game after this one. And let's be honest... even the corporate, homogenized professional version of football is... well... football. We'll get to NFL games whenever the rules will allow and it won't interfere with a college game.) Driving today: 142 miles.
Thursday 9/15, 7:30 pm: Utah @ TCU (We missed Utah during week one, so we'll get them here. The team that used to be Urban vs. the team that used to be LaDanian... this could've been a hell of a game if it wasn't 2005.) Driving today: 1248 miles
Friday 9/16, 8:00 pm: Houston @ UTEP (I love it when the weekday games are in the same state.) Driving today: 603 miles (Texas is a big-ass state)
Saturday 9/17, 7:00 pm: Sam Houston State @ Texas Tech (New Mexico State @ New Mexico is another possibility. I would have loved to make it to College Station for the SMU-TAMU game, but it's almost 700 miles--see comment about Texas in previous entry. This will be fun only if to see if Mike Leach's guys can put up 100 points.) Driving today: 342 miles.
Sunday 9/18, 1:00 pm: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Houston Texans (This one is italicized because if could theoretically impact the next game. It could go if it would put the Wednesday night game at risk.) Driving today: 581 miles.
Wednesday 9/21, 8:00 pm: Bowling Green @ Boise State (You've got to see the blue turf, right? Plus, this game should finish with a 51-48 final score.) Total driving: 1936 miles in three-plus days.
Thursday 9/22, 7:30 pm: Air Force @ Utah (The Utes become regulars on the roadie.) Driving today: 339 miles
Saturday 9/24, 7:00 pm: Southern Cal @ Oregon (I've heard good things about Autzen Stadium, and my... isn't this an intriguing upset special?) Total driving: 876 miles in two days.
Sunday 9/25, 4:00 pm: Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks (New stadium. Otherwise "meh.") Driving today: 282 miles.
Tuesday 9/27, 9:00 pm: Toledo @ Fresno State (Intriguing intersectional matchup. We'll be back to Fresno later...) Total driving: 935 miles in two days.
Thursday 9/29, 8:00 pm: Air Force @ Colorado State (This is a long drive... pushing the rules a little, but probably doable.) Total driving: 1284 miles in two days.
Saturday 10/1, TBA: Kansas State @ Oklahoma (A really interesting game a few years ago. Now, just a chance to see Norman.) Total driving: 747 miles in two days.
Sunday 10/2, 1:00 pm: Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs (Over/under on the number of times I make the "Who are the Chefs?" references: 23) Driving today: 366 miles.
Tuesday 10/4, 7:30 pm: Troy @ North Texas (This is where the requisite reference to the two leading NCAA rushers over the last two years goes. Just to show how smart I am about football. We should have plenty of time before the game to enjoy all the exciting non-football stuff to do in Denton. Hellloooo Denny's!) Total Driving: 513 miles in two days.
Thursday 10/6, 8:00 pm: Florida Atlantic @ Louisiana-Lafayette (Unless a movie the caliber of "Ghost Dad" or better comes up on the TV at the hotel.) Total driving: 427 miles in two days.
Saturday 10/8, 1:00 pm: Texas vs. Oklahoma @ Dallas (I'd love to get to Austin, but this is probably as close as we'll come. Looks like the Horns will go 0-2 on our trip.) Total driving: 390 miles in two days.
Sunday 10/9, 4:15 pm: Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys (As a Giants fan, I'm legally required to hate me some Cowboys, but Parcells... man... that dude is the best.) Driving today: Virtually none.
Thursday 10/13, 7:30 pm: Clemson @ N.C. State (Chuck Amato and his ridiculous 3-D glasses go under the lights.) Total driving: 1,205 miles in four days.
Friday 10/14, 8:00 pm: UTEP @ Tulane (We're really pushing it to make this game. Frankly, it probably won't happen. I'm not going to include it in the final totals, but it's at least possible in theory because of the short drive the next day.) Driving today: 881 miles.
Saturday 10/15, TBA: Florida @ LSU (You go to Baton Rouge hoping for a night game, but odds are that CBS screws this up and makes it a 3:30 kickoff. Oh well...) Driving today: 80 miles (or 953 miles over two days if we skip the Tulane game).
Sunday 10/16, 1:00 pm: Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints (We'll see the Superdome whether or not we make the Tulane game. So we've got that going for us. Which is nice.) Driving today: 80 miles.
Thursday 10/20, 7:30 pm: Virginia Tech @ Maryland (Get ready to see a lot of the Hokies) Total driving: 1099 miles in four days.
Friday 10/21, TBA: Arkansas @ Georgia (Another slightly-longer-than-allowed drive, but it's worth it to see Sanford & Son Stadium, the hedges, the dog, etc.) Driving today: 615 miles.
Saturday 10/22, 3:30 pm: Tennessee @ Alabama (And a stop at Dreamland BBQ to boot.) Driving today: 217 miles.
Monday 10/24, 9:00 pm: New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons (The Michael Vick Experience, hopefully without the herpes.) Total driving: 202 miles in two days.
Thursday 10/27, 7:30 pm: Boston College @ Virginia Tech (They hate playing on Saturdays in Blacksburg, don't they?) Total driving: 409 miles in three days.
Saturday 10/29, TBA: Florida vs. Georgia @ Jacksonville (The world's biggest outdoor Hairy Buffalo party.) Total driving: 551 miles in two days.
Saturday 10/29, TBA: Maryland @ Florida State (This is at least theoretically possible, but will depend on the scheduling. If one of these games is at noon and the other is a night game, you could do it. Otherwise, this one is out. I won't count it in the official totals.) Driving today: 163 miles.
Tuesday 11/1, 7:30 pm: UAB @ Memphis (This is where I talk for a while about how good Memphis' running back is, and how he's a Heisman darkhorse. Just to show you again how smart I am.) Total driving: 733 miles in three days.
Wednesday 11/2, 7:30 pm: Connecticut @ West Virginia (This is again pushing the rules, but after three relatively light days leading up to this, I think it's doable. Plus, how often do you get to see 50,000 drunken West Virginia fans in one place?) Driving today: 773 miles.
Thursday 11/3, 7:30 pm: Pittsburgh @ Louisville (If only we could see Dave Wannstadt on "mustache Wednesday"!) Driving today: 400 miles.
Friday 11/4, 8:00 pm: Toledo @ Ohio (Back to Athens. Again. They'll probably still be hosing the puke off the sidewalks from Halloween.) Driving today: 277 miles.
Saturday 11/5, TBA: Miami @ Virginia Tech (Great game. We ought to get a time-share in Blacksburg) Driving today: 225 miles.
Sunday 11/6, 1:00 pm: Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens (The start of an NFL Sunday double-dip) Driving today: 300 miles.
Sunday 11/6, 8:30 pm: Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins (At this point, we've seen Andy Reid more than our loved ones this fall.) Driving today: 44 miles on this leg (344 overall).
Tuesday 11/8, 7:30 pm: Southern Miss @ Marshall (Very exciting if Brett Favre was playing Byron Leftwich/Chad Pennington. Not so much now.) Total drive: 412 miles in two days.
Wednesday 11/9, 7:30 pm: West Virginia @ Cincinnati (Should get there with plenty of time to meet Bob Huggins for a drink before kickoff. We all know he's got the time...) Driving today: 166 miles.
This is where Boise State-Fresno State should go, except it would force us to miss three games, plus the NFL double-dip. Plus, we've already seen both teams play at their home stadiums.
Friday 11/11, 8:00 pm: Rutgers @ Louisville (Not a close game. Like... at all.) Total driving: 105 miles in two days.
Saturday 11/12, TBA: Florida @ South Carolina (Steve Spurrier, blahblahblah) Driving today: 506 miles.
Saturday 11/12, TBA: Florida State @ Clemson (Again, it could happen if the South Carolina game and the Clemson game are a noon game and a night game. If CBS grabs the Cocks and Gators for 3:30, you can forget this game. It's not counted in the final tally.) Driving this leg: 138 miles. Total for the day: 644 miles.
Sunday 11/13, 4:00 pm: New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers (Maybe the Jets can drag John Fox back to Jersey with them and let him take over for that jackass Coughlin.) Driving today: 92 or 138 miles, depending on where we're coming from.
Monday 11/14, 9:00 pm: Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles (More Andy Reid. Who could turn that down?) Driving today: 558 miles.
Tuesday 11/15, 7:00 pm: Bowling Green @ Miami of Ohio (Can the Falcons get over the hump against the preppies?) Driving today: 585 miles.
Wednesday 11/16, 7:30 pm: Northern Illinois @ Toledo (Another MAC classic.) Driving today: 193 miles.
Saturday 11/19, TBA: Ohio State @ Michigan (Yeah, like I'm going to miss this one.) Total driving: 51 miles in three days.
Sunday 11/20, 1:00 pm: Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals (Meh.) Driving today: 243 miles.
Tuesday 11/22, 7:00 pm: Toledo @ Bowling Green (BG should be fine as long as they can get a big halftime lead. Oh, wait...) Total driving: 189 miles in two days.
Wednesday 11/23, 1:35 pm: Western Michigan @ Northern Illinois (Unless we pass an interesting middle school game on the way there.) Driving today: 313 miles.
Thursday 11/24, 8:00 pm: West Virginia @ Pittsburgh (Happy Thanksgiving. Here's some Backyard Brawl.) Driving today: 520 miles.
Saturday 11/26, 3:30 pm: Florida State @ Florida (It could be Texas-Texas A&M, but it would cost us WVU-Pitt, plus I would like to see the Swamp) Total driving: 896 miles in two days.
Friday 12/2, 9:00 pm: Louisiana Tech @ Fresno State (A loooooong drive back to Fresno for a mediocre-- at best-- game.) Total drive: 2,628 miles in six days.
Saturday 12/3, 4:30 pm: UCLA @ Southern Cal (Frankly, this could and probably should be a conference championship game, but at the moment, I don't know which one. So we're headin' to the hood!) Driving today: 229 miles.
Sunday 12/4, Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers (Meh. Again.) Driving today: 131 miles.
Then go home, do some laundry, sleep a little and get ready for the bowls.
Total for the trip 47 college games, 12 NFL games (not including the ones that could get dropped).
A total of 29,149 miles driven, not including those games that could get dropped. To put that in perspective, if you drove around the earth at the equator, you would get wet (you know, because of the ocean). You'd also go only 24,901 miles.
I'll figure out the number of states and do a breakdown of conferences, teams, and other crap later.