NCAAF Top 4: Teams making the longest bowl trips
The Christmas season is one of the busiest travel times of the year - and that's especially true for a handful of NCAA teams gearing up for their respective bowl games.
While the bowl season doesn't kick off for another week - giving teams plenty of time to get over any jet lag or other assorted travel-related issues - a long-distance jaunt can play a major role in a team's success or failure on the big stage.
Here are four teams facing significant trips as they prepare for their season finales (2013 road totals in parentheses):
Boise State Broncos (3-3 ATS, 4-2 O/U)
The Broncos face Oregon State in the aptly-named Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu - a grueling trek for just about any team based in the mainland U.S. It's fortunate for both Boise State and Oregon State that they're located in the western half of the country, but that still means a 2,831-mile jaunt for a team that suffered all four of its regular-season losses away from Bronco Stadium. The Dec. 24 showdown will mark Boise State's first road game in just over a month; it dropped a 34-31 overtime decision at San Diego State on Nov. 23.
Oregon Ducks (3-2 ATS, 2-3 O/U)
The Ducks were national title contenders as recently as 5 1/2 weeks ago, but losses at Stanford and Arizona over their last four games has relegated the Pac-12 powerhouse to a Dec. 30 date with Texas in the Alamo Bowl. Oregon hasn't played well at all of late, getting thumped 42-16 by the Wildcats before eking out a victory over rival Oregon State. The Ducks' reward for their struggles: a 2,207-mile journey to San Antonio, where they'll tangle with a Longhorns team that resides just 80 miles away from the Alamodome.
Michigan State Spartans (4-0-1 ATS, 2-3 O/U)
One of the best road teams ATS among the championship contenders, the Spartans rode home victories over Minnesota and then-No. 2 Ohio State to earn a spot in the Rose Bowl. Yet, while Michigan State can revel in the prestige of playing in one of the BCS spectacles, it finds itself at a decided disadvantage in its Jan. 1 showdown with Stanford. The Spartans have one of the longest journeys of any top-25 team, venturing 2,211 miles - and if that wasn't bad enough, the Cardinal only have to travel 359 miles themselves.
Florida State Seminoles (4-1 ATS, 4-1 O/U) and Auburn Tigers (4-0 ATS, 3-1 O/U)
The highly-anticipated national championship game will feature two teams with impressive resumes and travel logs to match. The Seminoles, who capped an undefeated campaign with a 45-7 thumping of Duke, is installed as an 8.5-point favorite for the Jan. 5 showdown with an Auburn team that stunned top-ranked Alabama in late-November. Florida State has a 2,232-mile jaunt to Pasadena, Calif., while Auburn will travel 2,123 miles in total. The teams have combined to go 8-1 ATS and 7-2 O/U in their nine road games this season.