Which College Football Teams Have to Travel Farthest for their Bowl Games?

Last Updated - Dec 19, 2016 10:29 AKST |

Bowl games are about money. Money for the schools, the conferences, the players, the TV networks, the coaches, and the host cities. One way bowl games can ensure they maximize their income is by selecting teams from nearby cities.

Why do you think the last four times New Mexico has been eligible for a bowl, they played in the New Mexico Bowl? Same reason seven out of the past eight bowls Hawai'i has played were in their home stadium -- it's much easier to fill a stadium when the local team is involved. 

MORE: 2016 College Football Bowl Game Schedule, Game Times, TV Channels and More

So what about this year? Which teams have to travel the farthest to get to their bowl games?

Middle Tennessee will have to travel 4,364 miles to get from Murfreesburo, TN to Honalulu, HI for the Hawai'i Bowl -- the farthest any team will have to go for their bowl game. Even though the Rainbow Warriors only have to travel 10.5 miles to get to the game, the two teams' average travel distance of 2,187.25 miles is the highest of any bowl game. It's the only bowl game where the two teams have to travel over 2,000 miles on average.

The University of Washington has a chance to surpass Middle Tennessee's distance if they beat Alabama in the Peach Bowl. The Huskies have to go 2,637 miles to face the Tide in the Georgia Dome. Then if they win (assuming they go home between games), another cross-country flight awaits -- from Seattle to Tampa, FL -- 3,095 miles. Their combined travel for the two games would be 5,732 miles. 

Five bowl games will feature matchups between two teams that each traveled over 1,000 miles to get there, but only the CFB Playoff Semifinal matchup between Ohio State and Clemson will feature two teams that had to travel over 1,500 miles to get to their destination. Ohio State has to go 1,921 miles, while Clemson has to travel 1,970 miles to get to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Here are the numbers by team:

2016-17 Bowl Game Travel Distances

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2016-17 Bowl Game Travel distances by bowl

Over-land driving distances are determined by Google Maps, while over-water distances are determined using DistanceFromTo.net.

All bowl games are listed in order of total travel distance. 

R L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: 247 miles

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA Southern Miss: 112 milesUL Lafayette: 135 milesTotal: 247 miles

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Military Bowl: 504 Miles

Location: Navy-Marine Corps. Stadium, Annapolis, MDTemple: 129 milesWake Forest: 375 milesTotal: 504 miles

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: 705 Miles

Location: University Stadium, Albuquerque, NMNew Mexico: 1.7 milesUTSA​​: 703 milesTotal: 704.7 miles

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AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl: 791 Miles

Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, TXTexas A&M: 51.1 milesKansas State: 740 milesTotal: 791.1 miles

MORE: Trevor Knight's Texas Bowl Cleats Are Exquisite

​AutoNation Cure Bowl: 904 Miles

Location: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FLUCF: 17.8 milesArkansas State: 886 milesTotal: 903.6 miles

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Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: 926 Miles

Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TNNebraska: 748 milesTennessee: 178 milesTotal: 926 miles

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: 939 Miles

Location: Liberty Bowl, Memphis, TN​Georgia: 446 milesTCU: 493 milesTotal: 939 miles

Dollar General Bowl: 945 Miles

Location: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, ALOhio: 774 milesTroy: 171 milesTotal: 945 miles

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Birmingham Bowl: 963 Miles

Location: Legion Field, Birmingham, ALUSF: 599 milesSouth Carolina: 364 milesTotal: 963 miles

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: 1,047 Miles

Location: Albertson's Stadium, Boise, ID Idaho: 297 milesColorado State: 750 milesTotal: 1,047 miles

MORE: NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in the Idaho Potato Bowl

Allstate Sugar Bowl: 1,053 Miles

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA Auburn: 363 milesOklahoma: 690 milesTotal: 1,053 miles

​TaxSlayer Bowl: 1,068 Miles

Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FLGeorgia Tech: 350 milesKentucky: 718 milesTotal: 1,068 miles

Belk Bowl: 1,104 Miles

Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NCArkansas: 933 milesVirginia Tech: 171 milesTotal: 1,104 miles

Russell Athletic Bowl: 1,141 Miles

Location: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FLWest Virginia: 900 milesMiami (FL): 241 milesTotal: 1,141 miles

​Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: 1,219 Miles

Location: Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, ALAppalachian State: 461 milesToledo: 758 milesTotal: 1,219 miles

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Quick Lane Bowl: 1,232 Miles

Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI​Maryland: 520 milesBoston College: 712 milesTotal: 1,232 miles

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: 1,286 Miles

Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY​Pittsburgh: 379 milesNorthwestern: 807 milesTotal: 1,286 miles

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Outback Bowl: 1,402 Miles

Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FLFlorida: 130 milesIowa: 1,272 milesTotal: 1,402 miles

Valero Alamo Bowl: 1,477 Miles

Location: Alamodome, San Antonio, TXOklahoma State: 527 milesColorado: 950 milesTotal: 1,477 miles

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: 1,559 Miles

Location: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FLLSU: 694 milesLouisville: 855 milesTotal: 1,559 miles

Camping World Independence Bowl: 1,562 miles

Location: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LANC State: 1,002 milesVanderbilt: 560 milesTotal: 1,562 miles

Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl: 1,646 miles

Location: Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, TX​Army: 1,602 milesNorth Texas: 44.9 milesTotal: 1,646.9 miles

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St. Petersburg Bowl: 1,654 Miles

Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FLMiami (OH): 976 milesMississippi State: 678 milesTotal: 1,654 miles

RELATED: Is the St. Petersburg Bowl a Must-Win for Mississippi State's Dan Mullen?

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: 1,693 Miles

Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TXLouisiana Tech: 290 milesNavy: 1,403 milesTotal: 1,693 miles

Las Vegas Bowl: 1,793 Miles

Location: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NVHouston: 1,465 milesSan Diego State: 328 milesTotal: 1,793 miles

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Capital One Orange Bowl: 1,825 Miles

Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FLMichigan: 1,357 milesFlorida State: 468 milesTotal: 1,825 miles

San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl: 1,833 Miles

Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA BYU: 705 milesWyoming: 1,127 milesTotal: 1,833 miles

RELATED: What Time is the Poinsettia Bowl? How to Watch BYU vs Wyoming and NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in the Poinsettia Bowl

Boca Raton Bowl: 1,929 Miles

Location: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FLMemphis: 995 milesWestern Kentucky: 934 milesTotal: 1,929 miles

MORE: What Time is the Boca Raton Bowl? How to Watch Memphis vs. Western Kentucky

Motel 6 Cactus Bowl: 1,972 Miles

Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, AZBoise State: 923 milesBaylor: 1,049 milesTotal: 1,972 miles

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl: 2,061 Miles

Location: Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, BahamasEastern Michigan: 1,241.7 milesOld Dominion: 818.9 milesTotal: 2,060.6 miles

MORE: Old Dominion's White Helmets for the Bahamas Bowl are Legit

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Goodyear Cotton Bowl: 2,102 Miles

Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TXWestern Michigan: 1,096 milesWisconsin: 1,006 milesTotal: 2,102 miles

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl: 2,307 Miles

Location: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZSouth Alabama: 1,530 milesAir Force: 840 milesTotal: 2,370 miles

Rose Bowl: 2,574 Miles

Location: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CAUSC: 16.9 milesPenn State: 2,557 milesTotal: 2,573.9 miles

MORE: When is the Rose Bowl? USC vs. Penn State Preview

​Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: 2,836 Miles

Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GAWashington: 2,637 milesAlabama: 199 milesTotal: 2,836 miles

Miami Beach Bowl: 2,942 Miles

Location: Marlins Park, Miami, FLCentral Michigan: 1,500 milesTulsa: 1,442 milesTotal: 2,942 miles

Hyundai Sun Bowl: 2,954 Miles

Location: Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, TXStanford: 1,158 milesNorth Carolina: 1,796 milesTotal: 2,954 miles

Foster Farms Bowl: 3,079 Miles

Location: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CAIndiana: 2,314 milesUtah: 765 milesTotal: 3,079 miles

National Funding Holiday Bowl: 3,177 Miles

Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA​Minnesota: 1,983 milesWashington State: 1,194 milesTotal: 3,177 miles

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PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: 3,891 Miles

Location: U. of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZOhio State: 1,921 milesClemson: 1,970 milesTotal: 3,891 miles

Hawai'i Bowl: 4,275 Miles

Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HIHawaii: 10.5 milesMiddle Tennessee: 4,364 milesTotal: 4,374.5 miles

CFP National Championship: 1,102 - 4,121 Miles 

Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FLAlabama: 573 milesWashington: 3,095 miles

Ohio State: 1,026 milesClemson: 529 miles

Total: TBD