When discussing NCAA conference realignment, fans and media often question the seemingly illogical geographical makeup of the new leagues. “How can Colorado be in a Pacific-based conference?” they exclaim, “and Boise State…in the Big East?” But does realignment significantly increase the distance most programs travel for conference games? Which relocations do actually make “geographical” sense?
Below is a table detailing the current state of conference realignment. The mileage listed is the average mileage between the Team and all of the other universities that were (or will be) in the same conference.
While West Virginia’s relocation results in the largest percentage increase in travel distance (185%), TCU’s move represents the largest decrease in mileage (52%). Overall, the 25 relocations examined yield a 21% total net increase in travel millage; however, Boise St. and San Diego St. account for about half of that total figure. Removing those two programs from consideration, the remaining conference-movement results in a mere 10.6 % total mileage increase.