Forty different teams in 26 games in 26 different cities over three months. The 2019 Ultimate FCS Road Trip is a beast.
The Ultimate FCS Road Trip (click here for the Ultimate FBS Road Trip) begins on Saturday, Aug. 24, at legendary Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., where Youngstown State and Samford will meet for the first time since 2013 and the fifth time ever. It's the first stop in the 26-game regular-season road trip that will crisscross the country to see some of the best FCS games of the 2019 season.
Total Miles: 19,521.
Longest Drive: 2,048 miles (Missoula to Pittsburgh between Weeks 9 and 10).
Shortest Drive: 66 miles (Pittsburgh to Youngstown during Week 10).
Average Drive: 781 miles.
Average Daily Mileage: 212 miles.
Most Appearances (home and road): James Madison (three). Ten other teams have two appearances apiece.
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Scroll down for a week-by-week breakdown.
We flipped a coin between the two season-opening games: Villanova at Colgate and Youngstown State vs. Samford.
The FCS Kickoff returns to Montgomery for a third straight season, though it won't feature Jacksonville State for a third straight season. Instead, Samford hosts Youngstown State in one of the oldest football stadiums in the country.
|Sat., Aug. 24||Youngstown State vs. Samford||Montgomery, Ala.||N/A|
Delaware has dominated the Route 1 Rivalry — 8-0 vs. Delaware State while outscoring them 301-85 — and will be heavy favorites again in Week 1. Arrive early and check out Delaware Stadium's renovations.
Maine, we love you (No. 4 in the HERO Sports Preseason Top 25), but Orono is a hike, therefore this is the only trip of the season to Alfond Stadium. We'll be back in 2020.
|Thurs., Aug. 29||Delaware State at Delaware||Newark, Del.||896|
|Fri. Aug. 30||Sacred Heart at Maine||Orono, Maine||579|
|Sat., Aug. 31||James Madison at West Virginia||Morgantown, W.V.||833|
|Sun, Sept. 1||Bethune-Cookman at Jackson State||Atlanta. Ga.||633|
Yes, I'm aware. Not the sexiest slate of games.
It's the calm before the storm. (And an excellent opportunity for another FBS win).
|Fri., Sept. 6||William & Mary at Virginia||Charlottesville, Va.||511|
|Sat., Sept. 7||Eastern Kentucky at Louisville||Louisville, Ky.||495|
Six full days for a short drive to Jacksonville, where we get the second all-time meeting between two premier programs, Jacksonville State and Eastern Washington.
"We like to play highly-anticipated, non-conference matchups," Eagles' head coach Aaron Best said in 2017 when the game was announced. "Opportunities such as these make Saturdays more special."
Yes, this Saturday in northeastern Alabama will be special.
|Sat., Sept. 14||Eastern Washington at Jacksonville State||Jacksonville, Ala.||392|
Mid-week pit stops in Nashville and Chicago are followed by another shake-dat-booty nonconference matchup.
|Sat., Sept. 21||UC Davis at North Dakota State||Fargo, N.D.||1,335|
After a stop in Greensboro, it's an overnight drive to the first of three Ivy League games in 13 days, followed by another overnight drive back to North Carolina for Curt Cignetti's return to Elon.
|Thurs., Sept. 26||Delaware State at North Carolina A&T||Greensboro, N.C.||1,379|
|Fri., Sept. 27||Brown at Harvard||Boston, Mass.||748|
|Sat., Sept. 29||James Madison at Elon||Elon, N.C.||744|
Catch your breath during a short five-day wiggle from Elon to Philly with some detours west to the mountains or east to the water, or some pit stops in Washington, D.C., and Annapolis. We're not going back to Maine but we can grab Maine lobster at one of my favorites in Annapolis.
Alternatively, you could pass on Dartmouth-Penn and drive from Elon to Nacogdoches, Texas, for Sam Houston State at Stephen F. Austin.
|Fri., Oct. 4||Dartmouth at Penn||Philadelphia, Pa.||435|
|Sat., Oct. 5||Wofford at East Tennessee State||Johnson City, Tenn.||550|
Three games in three days in under 1,000 miles? Sign me up.
The weekend ends with a stop in Harrisonburg for James Madison's potentially intriguing matchup vs. Villanova.
|Thurs., Oct. 10||Bethune-Cookman at NC Central||Durham, N.C.||221|
|Fri., Oct. 11||Lafayette at Princeton||Princeton, N.J.||441|
|Sat., Oct. 12||Villanova at James Madison||Harrisonburg, Va.||315|
The second and final stop in Tennessee is Chattanooga for the Rail Rivalry, followed by a big-time Southland game in Huntsville. Nicholls and Sam Houston State could be playing for the conference title at Bowers Stadium.
|Thurs., Oct. 17||East Tennessee State at Chattanooga||Chattanooga, Tenn.||468|
|Sat., Oct. 19||Nicholls at Sam Houston State||Huntsville, Texas||790|
The trip's second-shortest drive is followed by the second-longest, though 28 driving hours is a small price for a Big Sky beauty: Eastern Washington at Montana.
Could College GameDay visit Missoula if both the Eagles and Grizzlies are rolling?
|Thurs., Oct. 24||Jackson State at Prairie View A&M||Prairie View, Texas||69|
|Sat., Oct. 26||Eastern Washington at Montana||Missoula, Mont.||1,883|
Finally, a double-dip Saturday!
Hitting two FCS games in one day is harder than you think. Other opportunities might present themselves after all kickoff times are announced. For now, Week 10 features the only sensible double-dip Saturday.
After A.J. Hines (a HERO Sports First-Team All-American) and Duquesne host St. Francis for a noon kickoff in Pittsburgh, there's ample time for the one-hour drive to Youngstown for the 6:00 p.m. ET game.
|Sat., Nov. 2||St. Francis (PA) at Duquesne||Pittsburgh, Pa.||2,048|
|Sat., Nov. 2||North Dakota State at Youngstown State||Youngstown, Ohio||66|
If Illinois State finally gets over the hump in 2019, their mid-November trip to Brookings could be enormous. This is the first of three one-game weeks to close the regular-season road trip.
|Sat., Nov. 9||Illinois State at South Dakota State||Brookings, S.D.||1,032|
It took 12 weeks to reach California (and see Montana State for the first time) but it's worth the wait. Make the 25-hour drive from Brookings as quickly as possible to enjoy that beautiful November weather in northern California.
|Sat., Nov. 16||Montana State at UC Davis||Davis, Calif.||1,706|
There are better months to visit Bozeman, one of my favorite cities in the country, but Saturday, Nov. 23, in Big Sky country could be a huge one as Montana and Montana State meet for the 118th time.
|Sat., Nov. 23||Montana at Montana State||Bozeman, Mont.||952|