The Wall Street Journal takes a look at bowl game travel distances in an attempt to disprove the fact that teams that travel shorter distances win a majority of their bowl games:
"In the coming college bowl season, San Diego State plays in San Diego, Hawaii makes the long hike to Honolulu from its main campus in Manoa, and Maryland might as well take the Metro to its game at Washington's RFK Stadium.
But all that shouldn't discourage teams like Tulsa, Boston College and Stanford, all of which will trek more than 2,500 miles for their final games. In 163 bowl games over the past five years, the team that was forced to travel farther is 83-80."
We've already noted how BC has been racking up the bowl game frequent flier miles as a member of the ACC, as well as the fact that bowl committees love to pit BC against more local opponents in their bowl games. But does this five-year trend also hold true for ACC teams?
Over the last five seasons, the ACC has played 41 bowl games. In 21 of those games, the ACC was the team that had to travel the shorter distance to their bowl game. The ACC as a conference is 10-11 in those games. Overall, the team that traveled the shorter distance was 20-21 in bowl games. The same trend seems to hold in the ACC (though I'm sure the ACC's craptastic bowl record over the last five seasons hasn't helped).
The Eagles are the only ACC team that has had to travel further in all of their bowl games over the last five season. BC is 3-2 in those games, though they have dropped each of their last two games. Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia Tech were the closer team in three of their last five bowl games, while Clemson -- believe it or not -- has been the closer bowl team just two times in the last five seasons. For Virginia Tech, Florida State and Clemson, the closer bowl team is 3-2. For Georgia Tech's last five bowl games, the closer team is 2-3.
Virginia, N.C. State and North Carolina have each been to two bowls each during that span and have been the closer team in both of their bowl games. Virginia and N.C. State are 1-1, while North Carolina is 0-2.
The top five deltas in terms of travel distance over the last five years all involve either the Humanitarian Bowl or the Emerald Bowl, naturally. The highest delta occurred in 2008, when Miami traveled 3,101 miles further than Cal for the Emerald Bowl. The other four - the 2009 Emerald Bowl (BC's 3,102 miles to USC's 348), the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl (BC's 2,665 miles to Boise State's zero), the 2006 MPC Computers Bowl (Miami's 2,840 to Nevada's 421) and the 2006 Emerald Bowl (Florida State's 2,633 miles to UCLA's 377).
ACC Bowl Travel Distances and Results (2005-2009)
|2005||Humanitarian||Boise||BC||2,665||Boise St.||0||Boise St.||BC|
|2007||Champs Sports||Orlando||BC||1,297||Mich. St.||1,210||Mich. St.||BC|
|2005||Orange||Miami||FSU||468||Penn St.||1,243||FSU||Penn St.|
|2005||Emerald||San Fran||Ga. Tech||2,476||Utah||739||Utah||Utah|
|2006||Gator||Jacksonville||Ga. Tech||319||WVU||760||Ga. Tech||WVU|
|2007||Humanitarian||Boise||Ga. Tech||2,171||Fresno St.||720||Fresno St.||Fresno St.|
|2008||Peach||Atlanta||Ga. Tech||2||LSU||525||Ga. Tech||LSU|
|2009||Orange||Miami||Ga. Tech||653||Iowa||1,464||Ga. Tech||Iowa|
|2007||Emerald||San Fran||Maryland||2,814||Oregon St.||573||Oregon St.||Oregon St.|
|2005||Meineke||Charlotte||NC State||169||USF||575||NC State||NC State|
|2008||Papajohns.com||Birmingham||NC State||560||Rutgers||834||NC State||Rutgers|
|2007||Gator||Jacksonville||Virginia||636||Texas Tech||1,205||Virginia||Texas Tech|
|2005||Gator||Jacksonville||Va. Tech||555||Louisville||733||Va. Tech||Va. Tech|
|2007||Orange||Miami||Va. Tech||889||Kansas||1,490||Va. Tech||Kansas|
|2008||Orange||Miami||Va. Tech||889||Cincinnati||1,114||Va. Tech||Va. Tech|
|2009||Peach||Atlanta||Va. Tech||415||Tennessee||214||Tennessee||Va. Tech|