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Fizz Investigation: Lose to UConn, is SU Headed to Car Care Bowl?

It’s tough to envision a scenario where Syracuse would road trip down to North Carolina for the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Take a look at the rundown of the Big East-affiliated bowl games.

Fiesta Bowl – Big East Champion (No, not the Orange Bowl, trust me.)

Champs Sports Bowl – second selection

Meineke Care Care Bowl – third selection

Pinstripe Bowl – fourth selection

Anything after that – FML

If Syracuse finishes in first or second place in the Big East, as it is virtually guaranteed to do if it beats UConn (don’t worry about “virtually” – it would double this article in length to explain), then it would in all likelihood be headed to either to Phoenix or Orlando for a prime bowl game.

But note the wording above. The Champs Sports Bowl has the second selection, not automatically the second-place Big East team. These bowls can pick whichever team they want as long as the team is bowl eligible.

So let’s say Syracuse chokes versus UConn. The Orange could fall below third place in the Big East, in which case forget the George Foreman Bowl. Even if SU winds up in third, would Meineke prefer West Virginia, because the Mountaineers reside much closer by?

Consider also what Syracuse would want in that situation. As The Fizz has explained, beyond a top-tier bowl game, SU would seemingly crave the opportunity to further establish itself in New York City by playing in the Pinstripe Bowl.

So the ‘Cuse in the Meineke Car Care Bowl = unlikely. What a nice introduction to my conversation with the Executive Director of the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Will Webb!

Listen to the FizzCast with the Car Care Bowl Rep:

Clearly Webb was trying to convince me that his bowl would love to have Syracuse. Do we believe him? Either way, Webb came off much better than the Pinstripe Bowl rep The Fizz talked to – who wouldn’t say anything, and the Champs Sports Bowl rep we spoke with – who didn’t know anything.

Does the Car Care Bowl prefer to mostly southern schools to play in the bowl?

“Actually we’ve had Boston College twice, we’ve had Pitt twice, we’ve had UConn. We’ve had some teams from the north.”

True, those three schools have appeared in Charlotte. But 11 out of the last 16 teams that have played in the Meineke Car Care Bowl are from the south.

You could spin that statistic though, and say that five of the eight Meineke Bowls have included a northern team. Nonetheless, Webb seemed serious about the idea that a northern school could make a good fit. One of the more enlightening points he made was that the proximity of one participant could free the bowl up to be less picky about the other.

“That  will be on the table, but we also will look at who do we have on the other side, who’s the ACC team going to be?”

“We’d like to try to get one team on one side or the other, ACC or Big East, that’s going to bring a big crowd – 15+ thousand. If we get a team in the ACC that’s going to bring a whole bunch of people, then we’ve got more flexibility.”

So when you’re trying to analyze where Syracuse could end up come late December (cross your fingers for early January), be sure to take a look at the ACC standings, because that could have an underrated impact.

No matter whom the Meineke Car Care Bowl lands, they’ll be great teams from top conferences playing some high-quality football… err.

Both the ACC and the Big East are made up of mediocre teams playing ugly football. Just don’t tell Webb.

“I would call it high-quality football – I just call it balanced football. There’s some conferences where you’ve got one or two teams that are just clearly better than anybody else. The Big East and ACC are playing high quality football, it’s just balanced.”

The executive director of a bowl game featuring an ACC team and a Big East team has to say that. But the rest of us know better.

Posted: Andrew Kanell

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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