College football’s 3 toughest road trips of the 2022 season

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - SEPTEMBER 17: Drew Pyne #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks on against the California Golden Bears during the first half at Notre Dame Stadium on September 17, 2022 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - SEPTEMBER 17: Drew Pyne #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks on against the California Golden Bears during the first half at Notre Dame Stadium on September 17, 2022 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Road games are tough in their own right, but some college football teams have an absolutely brutal road schedule in 2022 that will test them beyond measure.

Whenever college football fans take their first look at the upcoming season’s schedule, one of the initial examinations is always which games are on the road. There’s a reason for that. In an ideal world, a team would get its most difficult games at home, but that’s just not the way the world (and scheduling) work out.

However, what can make things more difficult is if there aren’t just difficult spots in the schedule but, rather, if there are games strung together that are going to be hard to handle. While there aren’t road trips like we see in the NBA, MLB and even NFL at times, there are still some road swings in college football that can be nightmarish.

Specifically for the 2022 college football season, these are the most difficult road trips of the year.

College football’s 3 toughest road trips for 2022

3. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Playing in the SEC often means that teams are going to be put through the wringer throughout the season, but that is amplified whenever a given program is asked to make a difficult trip through the conference and that’s the situation for Mike Leach’s Mississippi State Bulldogs in the 2022 season, something the enigmatic head coach is surely thrilled about.

The road trip comes in the middle of October when the Bulldogs have to make the trip to Lexington to face a Kentucky team that started the year 4-0 and has a potential NFL prospect in Will Levis at quarterback to go with their trademark hard-nosed approach on both sides of the ball. What awaits after that? Oh, just a trip to Tuscaloosa to face one of the national championship favorites, Alabama.

What makes this stretch truly brutal for Mississippi State, though, is what leads up to it. The month of October as a whole is just a nightmare as the Bulldogs opened the month against Texas A&M at home before hosting Arkansas and then going on the aforementioned road trip. Not ideal to rack up wins in the middle of the season.

2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

We’re bending the definition of a road trip as previously defined because the road schedule overall for Notre Dame this season is just truly remarkable stuff in the most difficult sense of that word.

The Fighting Irish began the season with a true road game against Ohio State in Columbus, one of the toughest places in the country to play. Then their end to September featured a move to Chapel Hill to face a talented North Carolina team. But what makes this tougher is the fact that one other road game that could’ve been viewed as a cake-walk coming into the year started to look more difficult as the season wears on.

On Oct. 29, Marcus Freeman will have to lead his team into the Carrier Dome to face an explosive Syracuse team that started the season 5-0. That’s a game that was likely circled as a win during any prognostication but is now very much in question. And then, of course, why not finish up on the road against Playoff contending USC.

But hey, at least they play Clemson and BYU at home, right?

1. Auburn Tigers

Highlighting just one road trip for Auburn feels unfair to how absurdly difficult the Tigers’ schedule is this season as head coach Bryan Harsin tries to cling to his job. Most people agreed that this program faced the hardest schedule in college football this season and there is perhaps not a better example of that than the Tigers’ mid-October road trip.

On Oct. 8, Auburn has its annual date with the reigning national champs and one of the favorites to hoist the CFP trophy again, Georgia. But it doesn’t get easier after going to play between the hedges as Auburn has to follow that up the next Saturday on Oct. 15 with a trip to Ole Miss, a team that started 5-0 to vault into the Top 10 of the rankings. That’s brutal in itself.

Making that even tougher to deal with is the overall slate for Auburn this season. Most teams and fanbases would prefer the toughest games on the schedule to be played at home. The Tigers have the exact opposite outside of the Sept. 17 Penn State contest with matchups with Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and rival Alabama all being played on the road.

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