Richard of Map Game Day has finished the gargantuan task of recalibrating his Travel Map to show conference alignments as they were each year the games were played. Richard decided to do this after an anonymous poster to the Wiz pointed out that his original parameters only took into account the teams that are currently in their respective conferences and not the conference alignments from 1998-2005.
For example, Marshall played for the years 1998-2004 in the Mid-American and joined Conference USA in 2005. Marshall's road games from 1998 through 2004 now show in the MAC map, while the road games from 2006 through 2007 will still show up in the Conference USA map. In other words, we now have a true representation of the data, minus a few games considered to be played at neutral sites (Red River Shootout, for example).
So the chart at the top is now considered the gold standard, a true reflection of travel by each of the conferences for nonconference games from 1998-2007. As you can see, the Pacific 10 is now the distance leader. None of the adjustments impacted the Southeastern Conference, which has a stranglehold on keeping the travel costs to a minimum.
Hawaii has also been bumped off the top of the list of distance leader. It appears independent Notre Dame will become the travel leader, but we are still going through all of this data to make certain we have this correct. Our apology for the delay, but we are working as fast as we can.
Today we will provide breakdowns of the Atlantic Coast and Big East travel numbers. We're hoping to get to as many of the non-Bowl Championship Series leagues on Sunday and, if needed, the rest on Monday. On Christmas Day, we will put all of this on one easy-to-read post showing all of the conferences and teams for future reference.
The ACC numbers are dragged down by Clemson and Maryland, teams that are in the bottom 10 when it comes to miles traveled. On the other end we have Boston College and Miami. In the case of the Eagles, two trips have helped put them in the lead: a game at Stanford in 2001 and a game at Brigham Young in 2005. Miami also has two lengthy trips: a game at Washington in 2000 and a game at Oklahoma in 2007.
Although the Big East ranks near the bottom in the new breakdown of conference rankings, we are going to cut the league some slack because it has only eight teams. Other leagues have at least 10 teams and therefore rack up more total mileage. Connecticut currently has an edge over South Florida because it has played 28 nonconference road games to only 16 for the Bulls (several reasons for this, including South Florida joining the league a year later than Connecticut). Cincinnati's total is inflated because of a trip to Hawaii in 2002, which accounts for over 4,400 of its total. Likewise for Rutgers, whose total is boosted by a trip to California in 1999 that accounts for over 2,500 of its miles.