NCAAF Top 4: Teams making the shortest bowl trips
It's one thing to earn the right to play in a bowl game - it's an even greater thrill to have that game take place a short drive away from campus.
Few teams get the opportunity to enjoy a genuine home-field advantage come bowl time, and even fewer that actually get to play in their own stadium (we're looking at you, Tulane.)
Here are four teams that won't have far to go for their bowl games (road totals in parentheses*):
Tulane Green Wave (5-1 ATS, 2-3-1 O/U)
The Green Wave are awaiting completion of Yulman Stadium, a 30,000-seat stadium that could be completed in time for the start of next season. Until then, Tulane calls the Superdome home - and that means the ultimate home-field experience for its Dec. 21 showdown with Louisiana-Lafayette at the New Orleans Bowl. The Green Wave had a solid ATS showing at home this season, and secured its bowl eligibility with a 14-7 win over visiting Tulsa in late-October. The Ragin' Caguns don't have far to go themselves, situated just 135 miles away.
Maryland Terrapins (3-2 ATS, 4-1 O/U)
A scant 28 miles is all that separates the Terrapins from Annapolis, Md., site of their Dec. 27 Military Bowl encounter with the Marshall Thundering Herd. Maryland can only hope it fares better in somewhat familiar surroundings than it did in its own stadium, as it dropped its final three games to close out the regular season. The Terrapins, who are coming off a 41-21 victory at North Carolina State, face off against a Thundering Herd team that will travel 435 miles to the game, but has averaged nearly 49 points over its previous seven games.
Texas Longhorns (2-3 ATS, 3-2 O/U)
At a neutral site, the Longhorns may have been considered heavy underdogs for their Dec. 30 tilt with the 10th-ranked Oregon Ducks. But at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas finds itself a modest 13-point 'dog against a Ducks team that has stumbled into the postseason after spending the first half of the campaign as a legitimate national championship contender. The Longhorns will travel just 80 miles for its Alamo Dome appearance, so expect a raucous crowd to make things difficult for an Oregon team traveling more than 2,200 miles for the game.
North Texas Mean Green (4-2 ATS, 3-3 O/U)
The Longhorns aren't the only Texas-based team anticipating a Texas-sized home advantage. The Mean Green will venture just 40 miles for its Heart of Dallas Bowl meeting Jan. 1 with the UNLV Rebels. North Texas had an up-and-down road showing in 2013, losing its first three games away from Apogee Stadium before closing with victories at Louisiana Tech, Southern Mississippi and Tulsa. The Rebels, who will rack up just over 1,200 miles for its bowl appearance, is coming off back-to-back routs of Air Force and San Diego State.
* - Tulane home totals listed.