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2023 College Football Preview: Which SEC Teams Will Travel The Most Miles?

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 4 mins

2023 College Football Preview: Which SEC Teams Will Travel The Most Miles?

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The Florida Gators are set to kick off the 2023 college football betting season in a marquee showdown at Utah, completing a home-and-home series the schools agreed to back in 2019. 

Florida is a nine-point underdog despite a 29-26 win over the Utes last year at the Swamp, pointing to the added challenges of crossing multiple time zones and playing at altitude in Salt Lake City. By the time coach Billy Napier and Co. arrive back in Gainesville, they’ll have already traveled 3,651 miles round-trip entering Week 2. 

That’s more than double the number of miles the Georgia Bulldogs will travel the entire season. 

It almost doesn’t seem fair. 

College football travel isn’t a hot topic from year-to-year like we see in the NFL or the NBA, but it can be equally if not more important in a physically demanding sport with players who still need to get back to class on Monday morning. 

Those long flights and body clock adjustments add up over the course of a long season, especially in the SEC where the pressure only gets bigger from week-to-week and one-off night can ruin the biggest of dreams. 

It’s one thing the two-time defending national champions won’t have to worry about. 

Which SEC Team Will Travel The Most?

We calculated the total linear distance each SEC team will travel throughout the 2023 season, and the Bulldogs won’t be racking up many frequent flyer points. 

Georgia is only traveling a total of 1,741 miles this year – the fewest of any Power 5 team.  By comparison, Florida will travel an average of 1,392 miles over its six road trips for a total of 8,352 miles – most in the SEC.

That’s one of the reasons the Bulldogs are a +215 favorite to win a third straight College Football Playoff title on betting apps, ahead of Alabama (+600), Ohio State (+650), and Michigan (+850). The dynasty isn’t going anywhere, and Georgia isn’t venturing far from Athens at any point in the 2023 regular season either. 

RELATED: NFL Schedule: How Many Miles Will Your Team Travel?

The Bulldogs open the year with four straight home games before a short, 306-mile round-trip visit to Auburn Sep. 30.  An Oct. 28 trip to Jacksonville for the annual matchup with Florida is Georgia’s longest of the season at a mere 540 miles round-trip, and overall Georgia only travels an average of 348 miles per road game. 

Auburn opens at home for a Week 1 game against UMass, but it faces the longest trip of any SEC team in a Week 2 matchup at Cal – a total of 4,188 miles and the start to the second-heaviest travel schedule in the SEC at 7,836 miles. 

Vanderbilt is next at 6,351 miles and Texas A&M is fourth at 5,539 miles. 

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Alabama is near the lower end at 3,185 total miles, with only two significant travel dates Sep. 16 at South Florida (948 miles) and Oct. 7 at Texas A&M (1,087 miles). But the Tide have two important home games on the heels of those trips, hosting Ole Miss Sep. 23 and Arkansas on Oct. 14 – something to keep in mind for point spread betting in both matchups at Bryant-Denny Stadium. 

LSU, one of the top preseason favorites, is in the middle of the pack as far as SEC travel at a total of 4,024 miles. The Tigers open the season with a 1,204-mile round-trip to play Florida State at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, with a home tune-up the following week against Grambling State. 

The Tigers’ season could come down to a massive three-week stretch Sep. 30-Oct. 14. LSU has back-to-back road games at Ole Miss (574 miles) and Missouri (1,182 miles) ahead of a home matchup with Auburn, in which the Bayou Bengals could be on upset alert. 

If LSU can manage to stay in contention through a Nov. 4 home game with Alabama, the Tigers should be in great shape with three home games against Florida, Georgia State and Texas A&M to finish the season. 

LSU is the only team to win the SEC other than Alabama or Georgia over the last 10 years. Those are the conference favorites once again, according to college football odds, but the road looks even shorter in 2023 with reasonable travel schedules for all three perennial southern powerhouses. 

About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.