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College Football Road Trip: Journey of a Lifetime


College Football Road Trip: Fans tailgate before game between the LSU Tigers and Wisconsin Badgers at Lambeau Field in 2016.
© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

When high-definition television became widely available, many predicted sports attendance would drop as the home viewing experience improved. Why pay $10 for a small beer, $25 for parking or wait in line for the restroom? Yet, fans still flock to stadiums for the atmosphere and energy, especially in college football.



Imagine planning the ultimate college football trip for the 2024 season. Which teams would you watch? Which stadiums would you tailgate at? Join College Football Dawgs as we create the ultimate college football road trip, featuring 32 games across the country and the world.


Goals and Limitations

Similar initiatives inspired this road trip, like visiting 30 baseball stadiums in 30 days or seeing NFL games at all 32 home stadiums in a single season. To plan the trip, we need to identify our goals and limitations:


  • Goals

    • See as many college football stadiums as possible.

    • Attend at least one game for all ten FBS conferences.

    • Attend one game played internationally.

    • Attend as many rivalry games as possible.

    • Participate in or observe as many top college football traditions as possible.

    • Finish the trip by attending five playoff games, including the semifinals and finals.

    • Spend the last day of the trip at the College Football Hall of Fame.


  • Limitations

    • An overall budget of $30,000 for travel, tickets, food and lodging.

    • Travel by car except where flying is unavoidable.

    • San Antonio, Texas is our home base for the start and end of the trip.


Week 0

  • Game 1

    • Date: Aug. 24

    • Matchup: Georgia Tech (Atlantic Coast Conference) vs. Florida State (ACC)

    • Location: Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland

    • Travel distance: 9,422 miles roundtrip via plane (San Antonio to Dublin)

    • Cost: $1,670 ($1000 for flight, $100 for ticket, $300 for hotel for three nights, $120 for taxis and $150 for food)


The road trip commences with a flight to Ireland to see an ACC game between Georgia Tech and Florida State. This will be the start of what the Seminoles hope is a revenge tour against the college football world after being left out of the playoffs last year as an undefeated team.



  • Game 2

    • Date: Aug. 29

    • Matchup: North Dakota State (Missouri Valley Conference) at Colorado (Big 12 Conference)

    • Location: Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo.

    • Travel distance: 853 miles (San Antonio to Boulder)

    • Tradition: Ralphie's Run

    • Cost: $636 ($86 for gas, $100 for ticket, $300 for hotel for three nights and $150 for food)


Coach Deion Sanders and his Buffaloes kick off their season with a home game against the Bison from North Dakota. Many eyes will be on Colorado to see if this is the season they live up to the hype, and the Buffaloes better not overlook the Bison, who have been a historically strong team at the FCS level.


College Football Road Trip: Colorado Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders with son and quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) against the Arizona State Sun Devils.
© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Remaining budget: $27,694


Week 1

  • Game 3

    • Date: Aug. 31

    • Matchup: Western Kentucky (Conference USA) at Alabama (Southeastern Conference)

    • Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

    • Travel distance: 1,342 miles (Boulder to Tuscaloosa)

    • Cost: $535 ($135 for gas, $100 for ticket, $200 for hotel for two nights and $100 for food)


The Crimson Tide's post-Nick Saban era kicks off in Tuscaloosa with what should be an easy win for coach Kalen DeBoer and quarterback Jalen Milroe in their first game together. The main goal of this game is to confirm once and for all that Alabama fans truly "don't give a piss about nothing but the Tide."



  • Game 4

    • Date: Sept. 1

    • Matchup: LSU (SEC) and the USC (Big Ten Conference)

    • Location: Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas

    • Travel distance: 3,390 miles roundtrip via plane (Tuscaloosa to Las Vegas)

    • Tradition: Sword Stab

    • Cost: $1,270 ($800 for flight, $100 for ticket, $150 for hotel for two nights, $40 for airport parking, $80 for taxis and $100 for food)


The morning after the Alabama game, it is time to catch an early flight to Las Vegas to see USC's first official game as a member of the Big Ten against LSU. This will be the first opportunity to see how successful each team is at replacing the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks of the last two seasons, Caleb Williams (USC) and Jayden Daniels (LSU).


Remaining budget: $25,889


Week 2

  • Game 5

    • Date: Sept. 7

    • Matchup: Texas (SEC) at Michigan (Big Ten)

    • Location: Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich

    • Travel distance: 770 miles (Tuscaloosa to Ann Arbor)

    • Cost: $925 ($75 for gas, $100 for ticket, $500 for hotel for five nights and $250 for food)


How lucky are we that the college football gods have treated us to a potential top-5 matchup this early in the season? Will Sherrone Moore secure his first significant victory as the official coach for the Wolverines? Or is this the start of a Heisman Trophy season for quarterback Quinn Ewers, culminating in a national championship and Longhorn fans finally being able to say, "Texas is back?"


College Football Road Trip: Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) throws a pass while warming up ahead of the Longhorns' spring Orange and White game at Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.
© Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Remaining budget: $24,964


Week 3

  • Game 6

    • Date: Sept. 12

    • Matchup: Arizona State (Big 12) at Texas State (Sun Belt Conference)

    • Location: UFCU Stadium in San Marcos, Texas

    • Travel distance: 1,362 (Ann Arbor to San Marcos)

    • Cost: $986 ($136 for gas, $100 for ticket, $500 for hotel for five nights and $250 for food)


Texas State is a sneaky dark horse to make the College Football Playoffs as the Group of 5 seed. With the addition of reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year Jordan McCloud from James Madison, coach GJ Kinne's team is poised to win a ton of games this year and put up a lot of points. The showdown with the Sun Devils presents the Bobcats' first opportunity to showcase their potential on a larger stage.



  • Game 7

    • Date: Sept. 14

    • Matchup: Oregon (Big Ten) at Oregon State

    • Location: Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore.

    • Travel distance: 4,190 miles roundtrip via plane

    • Cost: $870 ($350 for flights, $100 for ticket, $200 for hotel for two nights, $80 for rental car, $40 for airport parking and $100 for food)


With a quick turnaround, it will be necessary to hop a flight to see the Rivalry Game between Oregon and Oregon State formerly known as the Civil War. The two teams first played in 1894, making this the fifth-most played college football rivalry game in the FBS. Will the Ducks roll to an easy victory or will the Beavers hand them a devastating loss that could end their championship dreams?


College Football Road Trip: Oregon quarterback Bo Nix throws down field against Oregon State.
© Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

Remaining budget: $23,108


Week 4

  • Game 8

    • Date: Sept. 21

    • Matchup: Arkansas (SEC) at Auburn (SEC)

    • Location: Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala.

    • Travel distance: 884 miles (San Antonio to Auburn)

    • Tradition: Toomer's Corner

    • Cost: $1,239 ($89 for gas, $100 for ticket, $700 for hotel for seven nights and $350 for food)

The first SEC conference game on our road trip features two teams looking to rebound from losing seasons: Auburn, which finished 6-7, and Arkansas, which finished 4-8. Tigers fans have high expectations for coach Hugh Freeze in his second season, as Auburn has not won more than six games since going 9-4 in 2019. A stop at Toomer's Corner is a must for any college football fan while in town for an Auburn game.


College Football Road Trip: Madison Riggins rolls the oaks at Toomer s Corner on the campus of Auburn University.
© Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK

Remaining budget: $21,869


Week 5

  • Game 9

    • Date: Sept. 28

    • Matchup: Stanford (ACC) at Clemson (ACC)

    • Location: Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

    • Travel distance: 233 miles (Auburn to Clemson)

    • Tradition: Howard's Rock

    • Cost: $1,173 ($23 for gas, $100 for ticket, $700 for hotel for seven nights and $350 for food)


New ACC member Stanford only has to travel 2,587 miles to play a conference game. Gotta love the world of college football in 2024. Luckily for us, the drive from Auburn is much shorter to see a Clemson team that failed to finish the season with double-digit victories for the first time since 2010. Is this the start of a downfall for coach Dabo Swinney? Or was 2023 just an aberration?


College Football Road Trip: Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney runs on the field after running down the hill before a game against the Florid State Seminoles at Memorial Stadium.
© Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Remaining budget: $20,696



Week 6

  • Game 10

    • Date: Oct. 5

    • Matchup: Michigan (Big Ten) at Washington (Big Ten)

    • Location: Husky Stadium in Seattle

    • Travel distance: 2,789 miles (Clemson to Seattle)

    • Cost: $1,430 ($280 for gas, $100 for ticket, $700 for hotel for seven nights and $350 for food)


Now we get to feel the pain of traveling across the country like Stanford last week, except our travel will be by car instead of a chartered flight. There is a very good chance Washington will come into this game undefeated at 5-0 in a rematch of last season's National Championship game. When was the last time both teams appearing in the championship had new head coaches heading into the next season? I would expect the Wolverines to be 4-1, as they will likely take a loss early in the year at the hands of USC or Texas. If Michigan suffers a second loss here, the road to defending their title gets much tougher.


Michigan Wolverines defensive back Mike Sainristil (0) tackles Washington Huskies wide receiver Jalen McMillan (11) during the fourth quarter in the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium.
© Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Remaining budget: $19,266


Week 7

  • Game 11

    • Date: Oct. 12

    • Matchup: Texas (SEC) at Oklahoma (SEC)

    • Location: Cotton Bowl in Dallas

    • Travel distance: 2,080 miles (Seattle to Dallas)

    • Tradition: Sooner Schooner

    • Cost: $1,358 ($208 for gas, $100 for ticket, $700 for hotel for seven nights and $350 for food)


This will be a historic matchup between Texas and Oklahoma as it is the first time the Red River Showdown is an SEC Conference game. Oklahoma has been dominant recently in the series, winning five of the last six games, seven of the last 10, and 11 of the last 15. The play of the two quarterbacks, Ewers and Jackson Arnold, is likely to determine who ends up victorious this year.



Remaining budget: $17,908



Week 8

  • Game 12

    • Date: Oct. 17

    • Matchup: Boston College (ACC) at Virginia Tech (ACC)

    • Location: Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va.

    • Travel distance: 1,078 miles (Dallas to Blacksburg)

    • Tradition: "Enter Sandman"

    • Cost: $958 ($108 for gas, $100 for ticket, $500 for hotel for five nights and $250 for food)


You don't want to be late to your seats for a Virginia Tech home game and miss the team's electric entrance to Metallica's "Enter Sandman." Sure, it should be a competitive game between the Eagles and Hokies, but this game is on the road trip to experience the pre-game atmosphere.



  • Game 13

    • Date: Oct. 19

    • Matchup: Alabama (SEC) at Tennessee (SEC)

    • Location: Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.

    • Travel distance: 234 miles (Blacksburg to Knoxville)

    • Cost: $425 ($25 for gas, $100 for ticket, $200 for hotel for two nights and $100 for food)


A quick drive to Knoxville the next day will get us ready for the third SEC conference game of the trip between Alabama and Tennessee. The Volunteers have to be happy to see Saban gone, as they were 1-16 against him, with the lone win occurring the last time the teams met in Knoxville—in 2022.


Remaining budget: $16,525



Week 9

  • Game 14

    • Date: Oct. 26

    • Matchup: Kansas (Big 12) at Kansas State (Big 12)

    • Location: Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan.

    • Travel distance: 850 miles (Knoxville to Manhattan)

    • Cost: $1,235 ($85 for gas, $100 for ticket, $700 for hotel for seven nights and $350 for food)


The first Big 12 game on the trip is a great rivalry matchup in the Sunflower Showdown between Kansas and Kansas State. Jayhawks fans will be thrilled to see the return of star quarterback Jalon Daniels from last season's back injury, while Wildcats fans are hoping Avery Johnson can replace the production they got from quarterback Will Howard, who transferred to Ohio State.


Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Jalon Daniels (6) throws a pass during the first half against the Brigham Young Cougars at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
© Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Remaining budget: $15,290


Week 10

  • Game 15

    • Date: Nov. 2

    • Matchup: Florida (SEC) at Georgia (SEC)

    • Location: EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.

    • Travel distance: 1,264 miles (Manhattan to Jacksonville)

    • Tradition: The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party

    • Cost: $1,276 ($126 for gas, $100 for ticket, $700 for hotel for seven nights and $350 for food)


This is another bucket list game for any college football fan, where the partying begins well in advance of the actual game. Assuming we survive all the tailgating festivities, this is our first opportunity to see the top college football program in the country: the Georgia Bulldogs. While they were unable to three-peat last year, coach Kirby Smart's team is the frontrunner to hoist the trophy in Atlanta this January. As a Wisconsin Badgers fan, it will be strange seeing quarterback Graham Mertz not wearing the cardinal and white, but I will root for him regardless of the fact he is now a Gator.


Kerrie Session walks out of her RV camper with her Florida skeleton cheerleaders at the front Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023 at parking lot E of EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
© Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK

Remaining budget: $14,014


Week 11

  • Game 16

    • Date: Nov. 9

    • Matchup: Florida State (ACC) at Notre Dame

    • Location: Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.

    • Travel distance: 1,025 miles (Jacksonville to South Bend)

    • Cost: $1,253 ($103 for gas, $100 for ticket, $700 for hotel for seven nights and $350 for food)


Expect a significant drop in temperature as we head a thousand miles north from Jacksonville to South Bend in November. Love them or hate them, and those are the only two options, seeing a Fighting Irish home game is a must for a road trip like this. Notre Dame may be undefeated at 8-0 coming into this game with their eyes on a CFP appearance. Meanwhile, this will be a great opportunity for the Seminoles to jump up the rankings with a prominent win.


Notre Dame quarterback Riley Leonard.
© GREG SWIERCZ / USA TODAY NETWORK

Remaining budget: $12,761


Week 12

  • Game 17

    • Date: Nov. 12

    • Matchup: Central Michigan (Mid-American Conference) at Toledo (MAC)

    • Location: Glass Bowl Stadium in Toledo, Ohio

    • Travel distance: 157 miles (South Bend to Toledo)

    • Cost: $556 ($16 for gas, $100 for ticket, $300 for hotel for three nights and $150 for food)


Time for some "MACtion" on a likely cold Tuesday night clash between Central Michigan and Toledo. While this may not be the most exciting matchup of the trip, it was logistically the best opportunity to ensure we could fit in a MAC game. The Toledo Rockets are coming off an impressive 11-win season.



  • Game 18

    • Date: Nov. 16

    • Matchup: Oregon (Big Ten) at Wisconsin (Big Ten)

    • Location: Camp Randall in Madison, Wis.

    • Travel distance: 390 miles (Toledo to Madison)

    • Tradition: "Jump Around"

    • Cost: $769 ($39 for gas, $100 for ticket, $400 for hotel for four nights and $200 for food)

The Ducks and Badgers have met six times, with the Badgers winning the first three games and the Ducks winning the last three, including the last two meetings in the Rose Bowl. Madison and Camp Randall provide one of the best college football experiences for fans, and Wisconsin would love to "Jump Around" to a victory over Oregon in this matchup.



Remaining budget: $11,436


Week 13

  • Game 19

    • Date: Nov. 22

    • Matchup. UNLV (Mountain West Conference) at San Jose State (MWC)

    • Location: CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Calif.

    • Travel distance: 2,119 miles (Madison to San Jose)

    • Cost: $1,212 ($212 for gas, $100 for ticket, $600 for hotel for six nights and $300 for food)


The week starts with a sneaky good MWC game between San Jose State and UNLV. The Spartans have had a winning record in three of the last four seasons, a feat they have not achieved since the early 1990s when they were in the Big West Conference. The Rebels are coming off a 9-5 season, their first winning record since going 7-6 in 2013.



  • Game 20

    • Date: Nov. 23

    • Matchup: USC (Big Ten) at UCLA (Big Ten)

    • Location: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

    • Travel distance: 343 miles (San Jose to Pasadena)

    • Tradition: The Victory Bell

    • Cost: $284 ($34 for gas, $100 for ticket, $100 for hotel for one night and $50 for food)


Attending a game at the Rose Bowl checks off another must-do item on the bucket list as we watch two Big Ten teams, USC and UCLA, battle for the Victory Bell trophy. Coach Lincoln Riley's Trojans should cruise to an easy victory in this game unless they get caught looking ahead to their game against Notre Dame the following week.


A general overall view of the Rose Bowl stadium facade.
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Remaining budget: $9,940


Week 14


  • Game 21

    • Date: Nov. 29

    • Matchup: Nebraska (Big Ten) at Iowa (Big Ten)

    • Location: Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa

    • Travel distance: 1,787 miles (Pasadena to Iowa City)

    • Tradition: The Hawkeye Wave

    • Cost: $1,029 ($179 for gas, $100 for ticket, $500 for hotel for five nights and $250 for food)


The regular season portion of the road trip wraps up with a couple Big Ten games. First, we head to Iowa to get our first look at Nebraska's five-star true freshman quarterback, Dylan Raiola, and see how he handles what is sure to be another tough Hawkeyes defense. However, some things are bigger than football, and participating in "The Hawkeye Wave," where all the fans and both teams wave to the kids and families in UI Stead Family Children's Hospital, is the main reason this stop is on the trip.



  • Game 22

    • Date: Nov. 30

    • Matchup: Michigan (Big Ten) at Ohio State (Big Ten)

    • Location : The Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio

    • Travel distance: 536 miles (Iowa City to Columbus)

    • Tradition: The Game and Dotting the "i"

    • Cost: $453 ($53 for gas, $100 for ticket, $200 for hotel for two nights and $100 for food)


After the Buckeyes went on a tear, winning 17 out of 19 games in their annual matchup with the Wolverines, Michigan has finally turned the tide and won the last three games. With Jim Harbaugh off to the NFL, will Michigan be able to extend the streak to four or will Ohio State coach Ryan Day improve on his 1-3 record against the Wolverines?


Remaining budget: $8,458



Week 15 (Championship Game Week)

  • Game 23

    • Date: Dec. 6

    • Matchup: TBD (American Athletic Conference) at University of Texas-San Antonio (AAC) for AAC Championship Game

    • Location: Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas

    • Travel distance: 1,170 miles (Columbus to San Antonio)

    • Costs: $1,117 ($117 for gas, $100 for ticket, $600 for hotel for six nights and $300 for food)


The AAC Championship game is a must-see, as we haven't watched a team from that conference yet. The location is not decided until the regular season ends, and the top team hosts the game. Given that ESPN predicts the UTSA has the second-highest chance of making the CFP among Group of 5 teams, we'll assume the Roadrunners will host this game.


  • Game 24

    • Date: Dec. 7

    • Matchup: TBD (Big 12) vs. TBD (Big 12) for Big 12 Championship Game

    • Location: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

    • Travel distance: 295 miles (San Antonio to Arlington)

    • Costs: $280 ($30 for gas, $100 for ticket, $100 for hotel for one night and $50 for food)


While the two teams competing for the Big 12 Championship game are unknown, at least we know the location, giving us our first of two trips to "Jerry's World" in Dallas. Will we potentially see a rematch of the Kansas and Kansas State game from Week 9?


Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) holds up the Big 12 championship trophy after the Longhorns defeat the Oklahoma State Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Remaining budget: $7,341


Week 16

  • Game 25

    • Date: Dec. 14

    • Matchup: Army vs. Navy

    • Location: Washington Commanders Stadium in Landover, Md.

    • Travel distance: 1,359 miles (Arlington to Landover)

    • Costs: $1,286 ($136 for gas, $100 for ticket, $700 for hotel for seven nights and $350 for food)

Another absolute must for any college football road trip is seeing the Army vs. Navy game. The game has been nationally televised since 1945, and it is common for the President of the United States to attend in person. This will be a tough ticket to secure, so we may end up paying more than $100 to see the game.


Army Black Knights linebacker Jimmy Ciarlo (7) holds the Secretary s Trophy after a 17-11 win against the Navy Midshipmen at the Army-Navy Game at Gillette Stadium.
© Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Remaining budget: $5,775


Playoffs First Round


  • Game 26

    • Date: Dec. 20

    • Matchup: Utah (Big 12) at Mississippi (SEC)

    • Location: Vaught Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss.

    • Travel distance: 898 miles (Landover to Oxford)

    • Cost: $1,090 ($90 for gas, $100 for ticket, $600 for hotel for six nights and $300 for food)


  • Game 27

    • Date: Dec. 21

    • Matchup: Missouri (SEC) at Notre Dame

    • Location: Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.

    • Travel distance: 672 miles (Oxford to South Bend)

    • Cost: $317 ($67 for gas, $100 for ticket, $100 for hotel for one night and $50 for food)


  • Return to San Antonio

    • Driving distance: 1,303 miles (South Bend to San Antonio)

    • Cost to return to San Antonio: $580 ($130 for gas, $300 for hotel for three nights and $150 for food)



How do we know these will be the initial playoff matchups? We do not. I would place several bets right now if I could forecast the entire 12-team playoff field. Instead, we leveraged the PFF Top 25 rankings as a starting point for the playoff games, with the seeding in parentheses below:


  • First-round byes: Georgia (1), Ohio State (2), Oregon (3) and Texas (4)


  • First-round matchups

    • Liberty (12) at Alabama (5)

    • Utah (11) at Ole Miss (6)

    • Penn State (10) at Michigan (7)

    • Missouri (9) at Notre Dame (8)


One of the games will be played on Dec. 20 and the remaining three games will be played the following night, on Dec. 21. With that in mind, seeing the first-ever playoff games in Oxford and South Bend was too tough to pass up, so we picked those games.


 Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin reacts after a touchdown during the second half against the Texas A&M Aggies at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
© Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Remaining budget: $3,788


Playoffs Quarterfinals

  • Game 28

    • Date: Dec. 31

    • Matchup: Playoff quarterfinal game (VRBO Fiesta Bowl)

    • Location: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ari.

    • Travel distance: 856 miles via plane (San Antonio to Glendale)

    • Cost: $1,130  ($350 for flight, $200 for ticket, $400 for hotel for two nights, $80 for taxis and $100 for food)


  • Game 29

    • Date: Jan. 1, 2025

    • Matchup: Playoff quarterfinal game (Allstate Sugar Bowl)

    • Location - Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, La.

    • Travel distance: 1,322 miles via plane (Glendale to New Orleans)

    • Cost: $1,000 ($400 for flight, $200 for ticket, $200 for hotel for one night, $100 for taxis and $100 for food)


  • Return to San Antonio

    • Flying distance: 494 miles (New Orleans to San Antonio)

    • Cost to return to San Antonio: $400 ($350 for flight and $50 for taxi)



Good news: No more driving on the road trip as we will be flying to the sites of the final five playoff games. We will be spending New Year's Eve in Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl and flying out the next morning to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.


exas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (1) sits in the endzone after the 31-37 loss to the Washington Huskies in the Sugar Bowl College Football Playoff semifinals game at the Caesars Superdome on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
© Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Remaining budget: $1,258


Playoffs Semifinals

  • Game 30

    • Date: Jan. 9, 2025

    • Matchup: Playoff semifinal game number one (Capital One Orange Bowl)

    • Location: Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

    • Travel distance: 1,147 miles via plane (San Antonio to Miami)

    • Cost: $1,130  ($350 for flight, $200 for ticket, $400 for hotel for two nights, $80 for taxis and $100 for food)


  • Game 31

    • Date: Jan. 10, 2025

    • Matchup: Playoff semifinal game number two (Goodyear Cotton Bowl)

    • Location: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

    • Travel distance: 1,108 miles via plane (Miami to Dallas)

    • Cost: $1,000 ($400 for flight, $200 for ticket, $200 for hotel for one night, $100 for taxis and $100 for food)


  • Return to San Antonio

    • Flying distance: 257 miles (Dallas to San Antonio)

    • Cost to return to San Antonio: $200 ($150 for flight and $50 for taxi)


Remaining budget: -$1,072


First up is a game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, followed by a game the next night in at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. The hope is we get two extremely competitive games that are not settled until the final minutes or potentially in overtime.


An overall view of Hard Rock Stadium before the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida State Seminoles for the 2023 Orange Bowl.
© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Playoffs Finals

  • Game 32

    • Date: Jan. 20, 2025

    • Matchup: National Championship Game

    • Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta

    • Travel distance: 1,766 miles roundtrip (San Antonio to Atlanta)

    • Costs: $2,000 ($800 for flight, $200 for ticket, $600 for hotel for three nights, $200 for taxis and $200 for food)


  • College Football Hall of Fame

    • Date: Jan. 21, 2025

    • Location: Atlanta

    • Cost: $40 ticket for admission


All roads end in Atlanta for the final game of the 2024 college football season with the National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Will Michigan appear in this game to defend their title? Will Georgia return to the championship game for the third time in four years? Or will someone unexpectedly crash the party, like Penn State?



After the conclusion of the championship game, we will stay an extra day in Atlanta to finish our trip with a visit to the College Football Hall of Fame. Did you know that only 0.02 percent of all college football players and coaches can say they are in the College Football Hall of Fame? What a great way to conclude the trip by honoring all the greats who have contributed to the history of the sport of college football.


Fans stop to take photos with the College Football National Championship trophy at Meijer in Ypsilanti, Mich. on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.
© Kimberly P. Mitchell / USA TODAY NETWORK

Final budget: -$3,112


College Football Road Trip: Recap and Final Statistics

Let's take a look at some amazing accomplishments and statistics from this trip:


  • Attended 32 college football games across all ten FBS conferences.

  • Barely exceeded our $30,000 budget by spending $33,112.

  • Traveled 47,745 miles by plane and car to 32 locations.

  • Participated in and/or observed 10 of the top college football traditions.

  • Attended a college football game played internationally in Ireland.

  • Attended games coast-to-coast across the five major regions of the United States as shown below.


Each United States city visited during road trip.
© Google Maps

Mark Twain once said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do." The college football trip detailed in this article will create memories for a lifetime, and the only regret will be not going on this adventure. With that in mind, has anyone got $30,000 I can borrow?





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