With the absolution of the Empire State games already taking a toll on lacrosse recruiting, and the Governor’s Bowl¬†shutting off its lights, new doors are opening for a potential recruiting showcase football game.
The working name right now is the¬†“Empire State Bowl”and would pit “Upstate” players versus “Downstate” players.
How one defines upstate and downstate is bounds for some disagreement: for all of the five boroughs, everything else is upstate.
The Governor’s Bowl was extremely important to recruiting. It took the top talent from New Jersey, pitted it against the top talent from New York and let them battle at Rutgers Stadium.
Even during the less than stellar Groobers Error, three SU players¬†participated in last year’s game: Chandler Jones, Deandre Preaster and Marcus Sales.
Rutgers alum (and Syracuse de-commit. Argh.) Ray Rice played in the Governor’s Bowl along with New Rochelle High (NY) high school teammate and former Rutgers safety Courtney Greene.
Greene also allegedly de-committed from Syracuse. Double argh.
Keeping this game alive is not only huge for undecided players for where they’ll play college ball, but for coaches to get one final look at those players. Perhaps most importantly, the SU coaching staff a chance to schmooze with the players’ high school coaches.
The “Empire State Bowl’s” potential has Orange footprints all over it.
“Syracuse University coach Doug Marrone is part of the discussions to get the game off the ground. Marrone, from what I’m told, is aggressively trying to win back the support of New York State football coaches who were turned away from former Syracuse coach Greg Robinson and into the hands of Rutgers coach Greg Schiano.”
Triple argh. The Dome is also being considered as a possible host.
The Fizz’s Intrigue Meter is peaking.
Marrone¬†actually discussed hitting up the Empire State back in April:
“I was a New York player coming out of high school. It was important for me to come here and play and represent the state at Syracuse University. It is something that I will talk about with all of the players in New York. I think it is important to stay close to home and support a BCS school that is the only BCS school in this state.”
With players like Mike Paulus and Rice heading outside of New York under Groobers, simply put, this game has to happen.