WVU, Syracuse at Pinstripe Bowl
The Pinstripe Bowl.
West Virginia University fans better get used to it.
One look at the geographic makeup of the Big 12 Conference and its bowl ties-in pretty much tells us if the Mountaineers are one of the teams eligible for the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City, that’s where they are going to play.
That’s where they are going to play this year, facing Syracuse at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29, at Yankee Stadium. It’s a matchup of two long-rivals and one that is quite intriguing.
The Orange played some impressive games, beating Louisville by 19 points when the Cardinals were No. 7 and only dropping a 42-29 decision to then No. 2 Southern Cal when Matt Barkley and Geno Smith were the leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy. They also beat an SEC team on the road, topping Missouri, 31-27, one of three straight wins to close out the regular season.
Of course, the Orange also lost to a mediocre Minnesota team, 17-10, and struggled before finally beating Stony Brook, 28-17.
The first betting line on the game was posted Monday by an offshore site that made the Mountaineers a 7-point favorite, which at first glance looks right on the er, money.
There are advantages to going to the Pinstripe Bowl. It’s the only bowl with a Big 12 tie-in that is within a reasonable driving distance for Mountaineer fans. Obviously, because it is being conducted in New York City, there will be plenty for fans to do and see.
The downside is the weather likely won’t be good, and there’s few cities more expensive than The Big Apple.
While this won’t be a home game for Syracuse, it’s as close as the Orange ever could get to having a bowl game so close to campus, unless Syracuse starts the Carrier Bowl.
It’s not surprising WVU is going to New York. West Virginia is by far the most eastern school in the Big 12, an 870-mile trip to its closest league foe, Iowa State.
With the other Big 12 tie-ins to bowls in San Diego, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Tempe, Dallas, Arlington and Memphis, WVU likely will make more than its share of trips to the Pinstripe Bowl.
Of course, the best away to avoid that is to qualify for a BCS bowl, but that didn’t happen this season.
One other bowl involving a Big 12 team should be of extreme interest to WVU fans.
When Oklahoma meets Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4, 2013, it will mark Landry Jones’ fourth start in a bowl game as the Oklahoma quarterback.
The Sooners’ signal-caller has led Oklahoma to wins over Stanford in the Sun Bowl, UConn in the Fiesta Bowl and Iowa in the Insight Bowl.
Should he start and the Sooners beat Texas A&M, he will join former Mountaineer Pat White as the only quarterbacks in college football history to start and win four bowl games.