General Expansion Question

When people talk about expansion candidates, often times two schools may be mentioned as “travel partners”. What does that mean? Considering, its not like it is practical for any teams to travel together… except maybe if they are in the same city needing to go to another two college city at the same time - which is highly unlikely. So what does it mean and why does it matter?

“Travel partners” really only applies to the Pac12 where two nearby schools tend to travel together to two other nearby schools for non-revenue sports in order to save money on travel. For example, UW and WSU may travel to USC and UCLA together to play basketball games there in the same week. The idea is to save on travel costs.

Folks use it for the Big 12, specifically for West Virginia, and it may turn out that way. The only school that remotely fits that profile of the expansion candidates is Cincy, although 308 miles away doesnt exactly equate to next door neighbors

Yea, I guess I can see it but seems to be rare that two schools can do that. Although if they are in the same leagues, the scheduling can work out that way. I’m sure it is also nice for the athletes to socialize and network with their neighbor schools too.

I think it has more to do with a team traveling to an area where there are two other schools that they will play within a few days - not so much for football, but for other sports. I don’t think two teams from an area actually travel together to another area to play two other teams. I could be wrong.

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If you check your Buzzword Bingo cards, it may be found under the “G” column.

RIGHT! this whole time I’ve seen people use this term and in my head I just cant figure out how that would be a positive or negative for candidacy. It seams like people only use the term “travel partner” to help justify their schools candidacy, without actually explaining the monetary benefit of having a school closer to west Virginia. As far as i can remember Bowlsby didn’t say geography was part of the five main criteria.

You are correct sir. It’s about teams traveling to play two schools in relatively close proximity during the same week or weekend. Example: instead of ASU paying for 4 flights to and from both USC and UCLA for away basketball games, the travel partner arrangement allows ASU to schedule 1 flight to USC for a Thursday game, then charter a team bus to UCLA for a Saturday game, then schedule 1 return flight. Saves a ton of costs. This is big deal for every conference.

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How much do ACC teams save on that bus ride from Tallahassee to Miami?

For that matter, how does anybody justify the cost of a plane ticket to Ames, Waco, Lubbock, Oxford, Starkville, Blacksburg, Morgantown (I know, they fly to Pittsburgh and bus), or Tallahassee? Some of these schools are in terrible locations for flights, and adding an extra “local” bus trip to a travel partner 300 miles away can’t be useful.

The Pac 12 is the only place where this is mostly a useful principle, outside North Carolina.

Travel partners are used for all conferences (ie our travel partner is SMU in the American) and are a big deal for sports like volleyball, soccer, basketball, and tennis from a budgetary standpoint. Most of these sport competition days are Friday and Sunday, so being able to take a bus you already have to pay for for a 5 hour drive from WVU to Cincinnati is a lot cheaper than having to buy flights for 20-25 people to go from WVU to Iowa State. Where this comes into play as well is the whole Sunday thing with BYU because that weekend trip becomes a game on Friday (or moving the game to Thursday which could hurt attendance for the BYU travel partner and/or cause student athletes to miss an additional day of class for that week) or travel after the game to arrive late on Friday night, to play on Saturday because BYU doesn’t compete on Sunday.

I has nothing to do with two schools traveling together - that NEVER happens.

UH and Rice were travel partners in CUSA. Marshall soccer/volleyball would come in, play Friday @Rice and Saturday @Houston. Easing travel costs.

Marshall and ECU were travel partners. SMU and Tulsa were travel partners. Rice and Houston. Tulane and USM.

So why does West Virginia want a travel partner in Cinncy or UConn? Seems like everyone else would be pushing for that. Either way, I haven’t heard the term “travel partner” as a big variable in consideration. Seems like it is all about improving market value and improving level of product on the field.

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