Bulls' longest flight ever, but not Holtz's
As we write this, USF football is making its 2,270-mile flight from Tampa to Reno -- about five hours and 25 minutes -- for Saturday's game at Nevada.
Much has been made of the long flight, which will be the longest in USF history -- the longest to this point had been the 2,085 miles (give or take a few) that USF traveled to play at San Diego State in 1999, followed by a 1,885-mile trip to Salt Lake City to play Utah in 2001. Both, we should point out, didn't go well for a young Bulls program, with the Aztecs winning 41-12 and the Utes by a 52-21 margin. Even looking ahead to USF's future in the Big East, you might think Boise State is farther away, but it's actually not -- Boise is about 2,159 miles as the crow flies, and about 180 miles less of a drive than Reno, though we wouldn't recommend it.
To put the travel in historical perspective for Skip Holtz, he will travel three times as many miles for this road trip as he did in his entire rookie season as a head coach at Connecticut in 1994. The Huskies made just one trip longer than 100 miles that year -- about 420 miles to play James Madison, and Holtz wouldn't go any farther until his final game with the Huskies, a 1998 playoff game that sent them 832 miles to play at Georgia Southern.
The longest trip of Holtz's head coaching career? It's actually more than twice as long as the Bulls are traveling today -- his East Carolina team played in the 2007 Hawaii Bowl, where the Pirates beat Boise State 41-38 after traveling more than 4,800 miles to get there.
As much as is made of USF's geographic isolation in the Big East, none of USF's road trips in his first two seasons in Tampa make his all-time top five, with the previous long -- last year's trip to Connecticut -- checking in at No. 7.
1. ECU vs. Boise State in Honolulu, 2007 4,859 miles
2. USF at Nevada, 2012 2,271 miles
3. ECU at UTEP, 2007 1,688 miles
4. ECU at SMU, 2005, 2009 1,124 miles
5. ECU at Houston, 2007; at Rice, 2006 1,120 miles
(technically, Rice's stadium is seven miles west of Houston's)