Pinstripe Bowl 2010: Will Kansas State Wildcats Strike Against Syracuse Orange?

Lake CruiseAnalyst IDecember 18, 2010

Oct. 30, 2010: Anthony Perkins is hyped against Cincinnati on the road.  His team will need to be intense in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Oct. 30, 2010: Anthony Perkins is hyped against Cincinnati on the road. His team will need to be intense in the Pinstripe Bowl.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Which football team has the home field advantage in this one?  No-brainer.  The Syracuse Orange will be traveling just five hours south to New York City, which has a large alumni and student fanbase.  The Kansas State Wildcats will come from the cornfields of America to represent the villain in the Stadium of the Evil Empire.

They could spoil the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl for the Steinbrenners, Bloombergs and Trumps—billionaires could become sour.  The pressure is on the Orange to squeeze out a win in this game in their home state.

I suspect it'll be called the “Yankee Bowl” before too long.  Wait, that's already what they're calling it in the streets of Manhattan...that and "The Jeter Bowl.”

The Pinstripe Bowl selection committee signed the fourth-place team from the Big East and the seventh-place team from the Big 12.   A $2,000,000 payout will provide incentive for both programs to win.  The Big 12 and the Big East—two BCS conferences—let's have at it.

On ESPN starting at 3:20 p.m. EST on Dec. 30, the Pinstripe Bowl production will be staged in the Bronx, New York at Yankee Stadium.  Both teams are 7-5 and were mediocre in their conferences.  But, the money put into this bowl and the hype surrounding it will make it seem like a World Series game.  Bob Wischusen and Brian Griese will announce it for ESPN.

In New York City proper, it's the first bowl game since the Gotham Bowl (Miami-Nebraska) at the original Yankee Stadium in 1962.  It's the first in the New York City metro area since the Garden State Bowl at Giants Stadium in 1981 between Tennessee and Wisconsin. 

Giants Stadium was in East Rutherford, N.J., in the Meadowlands Sports Complex.  Demolition on it finished up last summer.

KSU is playing its first bowl game since 2006.  Coming from Manhattan, Kan., a town the residents call "The Little Apple," they seem content to go tour the "The Big Apple."  And who is better to show them around than the passionate people that pinstriped uniforms built?

The Yankees organization will take its slice out of the bowl pie—no doubt—to continue to sign the most expensive free agents in history.  This means more money in the Yankees coffers to bankroll more championships.

Led by the Steinbrenners, they are the first Major League Baseball franchise to have a bowl game.  Congratulations.  America is a better place.  Kansas State is blessed for the honor. 

Bill Snyder returns the team to a bowl for the first time since he returned in 2008. 

Neither team has exceptional offenses, ranked No. 62 (KSU) and No. 106 (Syracuse) in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) total offense.  KSU’s ranks about in the middle of the major college football total offense statistics.  Syracuse is ranked No. 106 out of 120 schools in total offense, but, they rank No. 5 in total defense.

Once nicknamed the "Orangemen," the school is more Jim Boeheim, the basketball coach, than it is Doug Marrone, the football coach.  Marrone was the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints from 2006-08 and coached the Jets offensive line before that.

His time in the New Orleans gives me a glimpse of his coaching philosophy.  His offenses throw a lot of passes, allow few sacks and rack a lot of yards.  They are dynamite in the red zone, on third down and moving the chains.

Coaching in New York, Marrone had Curtis Martin carrying the ball.  They finished third in the NFL in rushing yards in 2004.  His leading rusher for the Orange is Delonte Carter, who averages 5.1 yards per carry and gained 1,035 yards.  Now Marrone is back in New York, except he's with a BCS conference team.

With expansion on the horizon (TCU), UConn, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Rutgers, South Florida, Louisville and Cincinnati made up the other Big East teams.  With UConn, Pitt, West Virginia and South Florida getting selected, the conference's bowl count is five.  

Eight Big 12 teams made it to bowl games: Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Tech.  The Big 12 has almost annually produced a national championship candidate.  With this being a low point year for the Texas Longhorns, some people suspect the Big 12 is vulnerable. 

The Wildcats finished 3-5 in the Big 12.  Their defense allowed 28 points a game on the season.  They lost four of their last six games and gave up at least 38 points in four of them, over 40 in three of them.

The Orange finished fourth in the Big East with a 4-3 record in the conference.  Their best victory of the season was a 31-7 hammering of the University of Cincinnati away.  They also won at the University of South Florida.



The Big East is a better basketball conference, while the Big 12 excels in football.  The athletes should, therefore, be better on the purple and white side of the ball in this game.  Neither team is ranked in the BCS, but this game could foreshadow the Oklahoma-UConn game.  Kansas State will make the Orange walk in their shadows and defeat them in the first Pinstripe Bowl, 34-23.