After winning its sixth game this weekend, Syracuse football is headed to a bowl. But which possible bowl game is the right fit for the Orange? Syracuse.com identified five likely options, and we ranked them from worst to best.
5. Pinstripe Bowl
There’s a lot for Syracuse fans to like about the Pinstripe Bowl. The Orange have played in it three times, including the inaugural game back in 2010, and hold a 2-1 record in it. However, SU has played in Yankee Stadium twice in the last year, including the 2022 Pinstripe Bowl and a regular season clash with Pittsburgh just a few weeks ago. As great as the connection between CNY and NYC has become, it’s time to mix things up.
4. Birmingham Bowl
The Birmingham Bowl doesn’t have too much appeal for Syracuse. It’s not a particularly prestigious bowl. There isn’t a huge history of ACC teams participating. It’s in Alabama, which will be warm, but not tropical. The bowl is also scheduled for December 23, which is pretty close to Christmas to be traveling to a spot that isn’t a huge vacation draw. A bowl is a bowl, so SU would likely welcome the invitation, but there are better options.
3. Fenway Bowl
The Fenway Bowl is awfully similar to the Pinstripe Bowl. It’s a mid-to-low level bowl held in a baseball stadium in the Northeast, where frigid temperatures are the norm in late December. Maybe there are some Red Sox fans on the Orange that would love to play right next to the Green Monster, but there isn’t much that makes the Fenway Bowl much better than the Pinstripe Bowl. The one bright spot is that this is one of a few bowl games that are within driving distance for Syracuse fans.
2. Gasparilla Bowl
Would the Gasparilla Bowl be especially meaningful to SU? Probably not, no. Similar to the Birmingham Bowl, this postseason game has no significant ACC connection and doesn’t have a prestigious history. However, a trip to St. Petersburg, Florida would be enjoyable for coaches, players, and fans alike.
1. Military Bowl
The Military Bowl has the best combination of attributes for Syracuse. It’s held in Annapolis, Maryland, which is the best of both worlds. It’s within driving distance, while still in an area that’s usually warmer than Central New York. The Military Bowl has also had an ACC participant every year for the last decade, so it’s not like the Orange are just dropping into a bowl it has zero connection to. This option also has some extra meaning, as SU is a school with lots of military connections, including a large student population of veterans. The Military Bowl seems like the perfect fit for Syracuse football.