The American Athletic Conference Edition of the 2019 Ultimate College Football Road Trip begins with four games in four different states in 72 hours.
Cincinnati hosts UCLA on Thursday, Aug, 29, the first game of the 29-game, 19-city road trip over 16 weeks. It's the first of two visits to Cincinnati, one of nine cities with multiple visits. Houston leads all cities with four visits: Three games at TDECU Stadium and one at NRG Stadium. The Cougars also have the most total appearances (eight), followed by UCF (seven) and Navy (six).
Longest drive: West Point, N.Y., to Houston. One thousand six hundred and sixty-seven miles from Tulane-Army on Oct. 5 to Cincinnati-Houston on Oct. 12.
Shortest drive: Orlando to Tampa. Ninety-five miles from Houston-UCF on Nov. 2 to Temple-USF on Nov. 7.
Most games in one week: Four games in Week 1.
Two rules: You must drive to each game. And you must visit each stadium at least once.
|Thurs., Aug. 29||UCLA at Cincinnati||Cincinnati||N/A|
|Fri., Aug. 30||Wisconsin at USF||Tampa||916|
|Sat., Aug. 31||Ole Miss at Memphis||Memphis||804|
|Sun., Sept. 1||Houston at Oklahoma||Norman||477|
The only four-game week of the road trip, Week 1 isn't for amateurs and requires two long overnight drives.
Unlike most other weeks, there is no scheduling debate for any of these four days. Each game is either the undoubtedly premier AAC game of the day or the only game of the day (Houston at Oklahoma).
|Sat., Sept. 7||Cincinnati at Ohio State||Columbus||932|
One game or two games?
We could squeeze both USF-Georgia Tech (2 p.m. ET kickoff in Atlanta) and Tulane-Auburn (7:30 p.m. ET kickoff Auburn) but opted for quality over quantity.
|Fri., Sept. 13||Washington State vs. Houston||Houston*||1,156|
|Sat., Sept. 14||Stanford at UCF||Orlando||966|
After a late-night (9:15 p.m. ET) Leach vs. Holgorsen game at NRG Stadium, you'll have roughly 14 hours until kickoff in Orlando. The drive: Exactly 14 hours.
It's the first of three UCF games in 21 days.
|Thurs., Sept. 19||Houston at Tulane||New Orleans||640|
|Sat., Sept. 21||UCF at Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||1,091|
This is the first catch-your-breath week. Four full days to make a nine-hour drive from Orlando to New Orleans.
But after the Thursday night conference opener for both Houston and Tulane, it could be 36 hours until kickoff in Pittsburgh (depending on yet-to-be-announced kickoff time).
|Thurs, Sept. 26||Navy at Memphis||Memphis||773|
|Sat., Sept. 28||Houston at North Texas||Denton||489|
The second of three trips to Memphis is followed by a short drive to Denton, Texas, where we get one of the best quarterback matchups of the college football season: D'Eriq King vs. Mason Fine.
|Thurs., Oct. 3||Temple at ECU||Greenville||1,302|
|Fri., Oct. 4||UCF at Cincinnati||Cincinnati||598|
|Sat., Oct. 5||Tulane at Army||West Point||677|
Our first live look at two of the conference's three first-year head coaches — Rod Carey (Temple) and Mike Houston (East Carolina) — in one of the country's most underrated venues, Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
From eastern North Carolina, it's a second trip to Cincinnati (and third overall Bearcats' game), and passing on Air Force-Navy for a bucket-list trip to West Point.
|Sat., Oct. 12||Cincinnati at Houston||Houston||1,667|
You have six full days to make the first of four consecutive drives of at least 1,400 miles (6,113 total miles over those four drives).
Pit stops: Raleigh for Syracuse-NC State on Thursday night, and Miami for Virginia-Miami on Friday night (if Cincinnati-Houston is a night game, allowing for the 16-hour drive).
|Sat., Oct. 19||USF at Navy||Annapolis||1,449|
The second straight one-game week, Week 8 features the only Annapolis trip of the year. And it's sandwiched between two games in Houston.
Potential pit stops: Syracuse or Evanston for Friday night games (Pittsburgh-Syracuse or Ohio State-Northwestern).
|Thurs., Oct. 24||SMU at Houston||Houston||1,447|
|Sat., Oct. 26||UCF at Temple||Philadelphia||1,550|
Bad news: We might have 36 hours to make a 1,550-mile drive from Houston to Philadelphia.
Good news: After the UCF-Temple game on Saturday (hopefully a night game), we have five full days for Philadelphia-to-Hartford.
Bad news: We have to attend a UConn football game.
Good news: Randy Edsall is buying postgame drinks with his $10,000 bonus for tying his shoelaces during pregame warmups.
|Fri., Nov. 1||Navy at UConn||East Hartford||209|
|Saturday, Nov. 2||Houston at UCF||Orlando||1,201|
Rule No. 2: You must visit each stadium at least once.
That is the only reason why East Hartford, Conn., is on the Week 10 docket instead of heading south and trying to double up on Saturday games.
|Thurs., Nov. 7||Temple at USF||Tampa||95|
|Fri., Nov. 8||UCF at Tulsa||Tulsa||1,205|
|Sat., Nov. 9||ECU at SMU||Dallas||257|
It's weak AAC slate in Week 11 with only four total games, only two of which are on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The last of three weeks with at least three games, Week 11 features the shortest drive of the road trip (95 miles from Orlando to Tampa) and the first (and only) visits to both Tulsa and Dallas.
|Sat., Nov. 16||Navy at Notre Dame||South Bend||1,022|
Things slow down with only six games over the final five weeks.
The big question in Week 12: Potentially huge conference games in Tampa (Cincinnati at USF) and Houston (Memphis at Houston) or a trip to South Bend?
|Sat., Nov. 23||UCF at Tulane||New Orleans||981|
I'm passing on a third trip to Cincinnati (for Memphis at Cincinnati) for a second trip to New Orleans, where Tulane hosts UCF, who, if undefeated, could finally have a real playoff shot.
|Fri., Nov. 29||Cincinnati at Memphis||Memphis||395|
|Sat., Nov. 30||Navy at Houston||Houston||568|
Pick either USF-UCF or Cincinnati-Memphis on Friday night. You can't pick wrong.
The (non-Army-Navy Game) regular-season ends in Houston, where the Cougars could be fighting for a spot in the AAC Championship.
|Sat., Dec. 7||AAC Championship||TBD||966|
It's 966 miles from Houston to Orlando…
|Sat., Dec. 14||Army vs. Navy||Philadelphia||987|
The only conference with a Week 16 game, the AAC finally wraps up their regular-season in Philadelphia on Dec. 14 with the 120th Army-Navy Game.