It was supposed to start in Las Vegas on Saturday, Aug. 29, and end in Philadelphia on Saturday, Dec. 5. It was supposed to criss-cross the country, covering 30,000 miles over 16 weeks. The 2020 Ultimate College Football Trip was supposed to be as beautiful as its three predecessors.
It started with 35 games over 106 days in 2017, kicking off on Aug. 26 in Fort Collins, where Colorado State hosted Oregon State in their new on-campus stadium and ended on Dec. 9 in Philadelphia for the 118th Army-Navy Game. It was 49 different teams at 32 different stadiums in 31 cities and roughly 377 driving hours. We visited Atlanta three times (two different stadiums), and saw Alabama, Ohio State, and Temple three times apiece. We visited a home stadium in each conference except the Big 12, had two weeks with four games, and drove nearly 2,000 miles from Tampa to Boulder in September.
It continued in 2018 with 44 games over 106 days, beginning in Las Cruces, where New Mexico State hosted Wyoming on Aug. 25, and ending in Philadelphia for the 119th Army-Navy Game. Over the 106 days and 29,736 miles, we visited five cities twice (including unexpectedly Jonesboro, Ark.) and saw 58 different teams, led by TCU (four times), and Ohio State and FAU (three apiece). The Pac-12 was neglected (two total teams), while the ACC was well represented with appearances for all 14 teams.
And it went into overdrive last year; the 2019 Ultimate College Football Road Trip racked up the most miles and games of any Ultimate College Football Road Trip: 49 games and 37,201 miles over 115 days. We drove 2,300 miles from Orlando to Provo to catch the Utah-BYU game in Week 1, and caught five games in one week on three occasions. Auburn and (somehow) Houston led with four appearances, followed by six teams with three appearances, including App State, Georgia, and Ohio. Amazingly, we went to Athens, Ohio, twice and Athens, Georgia, only once.
In case you’ve never read the Ultimate College Football Road Trip on HERO Sports or listed to the corresponding episode on the High Motor podcast, this is purely hypothetical. I love college football but not enough to average five hours of driving time every single day for 115 straight days.
It’s hypothetical but it’s magical. I enjoy plotting the trip more than writing any other article or preparing any other podcast all year. With all due respect to David Shaw, Brett McMurphy, Tim Tebow, and some of the other notable guests on my podcast over the last few years, I enjoy the Ultimate College Football Road Trip more. But there’s no enjoyment this year. Even if some teams play this fall (and/or this spring), it won’t be enough to plot a road trip.
The Ultimate College Football Road Trip is on hiatus for one year. It will be back next year…and it will be bigger and better than ever.