A man named Ben collaborated with Betty to travel alone to 115 different teams. This is not a riddle; it is simply an epic college football road trip.
Ben Chase, a 33-year-old Florida man with a law degree and a passion for college football, was laid off and decided to make some history and memories.
“My thesis for the trip was that nothing brings people together more than college football,” Ben told ABC13. “I wanted to immerse myself in as many cultures as possible and learn a tradition or two.”
A couple of customs? Why not try 115?
According to Ben, 57 games have been attended during a single college football season. So he plotted a route around three fall weddings to which he had been invited, and an epic journey began.
During the 2022-23 college football season, Ben drove 60,230 miles across the lower 48 states, mostly in his white van, affectionately known as Betty White. That is, until the transmission failed 40 games into the trip, forcing him to take a 6,000-mile rental car.
Ben saw 77 college football games in 75 different stadiums, featuring 115 different teams.
Ben told ABC13 about his entire experience from the comfort of his white van.
“When you’re just there for a team, no one talks about politics,” Ben explained. “You’ve arrived, and you’re family. That was accurate. I literally spent the night at the home of a coach.”
Jim McElwain of Central Michigan was that coach. No bench boss in Texas provided such hospitality, but Ben’s multiple appearances in Texas left an impression.
“Something surprised me at Prairie View, Baylor, and Texas State,” Ben recalled. “Prairie View A&M’s new stadium is one of the best in the country, and the atmosphere is electric. Unfortunately, they were defeated by Alcorn State. Then there was Texas State, which had the most underappreciated tailgating experience in the country for students. Baylor has perhaps the most under-reported traditions that I enjoyed during the entire trip, in my opinion “He stated.
On the same day he went to Texas State, Ben also attended the Alabama vs. Texas game in Austin. He also attended six bowl games in Texas and the Rockets’ Jan. 5 home game against Utah.
Ben will begin his new job at his alma mater on Monday. He’s been hired as the University of Florida’s Director of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) Strategy, a position he applied for before embarking on his historic journey.
“It’s like a storybook,” Ben said of his new venture. “I’m very fortunate and blessed, and I’m looking forward to the next chapter. And I believe that what I’ve seen across the country adds value to my new position.”