The Fizz has often been accused of jumping the gun, so let’s do it again. As we make our way through the final month of the season, The Fizz will investigate possible destinations for the holidays.
As a primer, Commish John Marinatto would like to remind you, the Big East has six potential bowl tie-ins every winter (we are not a sinking ship! You hear me?”).
Champion will obviously go to a BCS game. Since the Big East king will not be playing for the National Championship, that means an Orange Bowl for whoever wins the league. The Champs Sports Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl and Pinstripe Bowl are also a lock every year. The league has two more bowl slots between the Liberty, Beef O’Brady’s St. Petersburg and Papa John’s. No more than two can be taken by Big East teams any given year.
With the proximity to New York City, the popularity of the Yankees in upstate New York and the potential to see Yankee Stadium host it’s first bowl, the Pinstripe has been the subject of serious buzz for SU’s destination.
The Pinstripe committee has the third selection after the BCS qualifier. How do these teams go about searching for a fitting slipper? The Fizz contacted bowl liaison Jason Latimer.
Fizz: At what point do you start sending people out to scout teams and consider invitations for your bowl?
Pinstripe Bowl: We start looking at potential teams in mid October once we have an idea of the potential strength of the team’s in the two conferences.
F: What are you looking for in a Pinstripe Bowl team? Do economics/feasability (e.g. location) factor into the decision?
PB: The location of the team is definitely a factor especially as it relates to the Big East. If the Big East team can deliver a “built in” fan base that can travel here by car, it would certainly be a benefit to both the team and the bowl. We feel that New York City and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl is going to be a premiere host and event for this bowl game and a unique destination during the college bowl season.
After that exchange, things got a little hazy (red: secretive). The bowl wouldn’t divulge what programs it was looking at, who it would prefer, and declined a podcast invitation.
F: We’re trying to let fans know about the bowls, because obviously the fanbase is excited, this is the first year they will most likely be in the conversation since ’04.
PB: “Ohhhh yeah. They’re doing much better this year, aren’t they?”
Let’s cut through the PR tape and put two and two together.
Rutgers, UConn, and Syracuse fit the Pinstripe Bowl best, based on his criteria. Syracuse has a strong fanbase in New York City, and you could organize “bowl buses” no problem. You know Darryl would love a promotion like that, helping create that footprint in the NYC market. It’s also distinctly possible the PB began looking at SU after the USF win last month.
While the Huskies and Scarlet Knights have had disappointing seasons, Orange Nation is charged up to finally experience a bowl again. SU would likely sell far more tickets than those two schools.
The problem might be just how good Syracuse is. Even if the Orange doesn’t win the Big East, could it fall to fourth in the pecking order of the league’s bowl teams? Unlikely. Odds are the Champs Sports or Car Care Bowls come calling first.
Posted: Ted Conroy