The last time Rutgers missed a bowl game after attending one the previous season, it set off a streak of 26 years in which RU missed out on postseason play.
This time the Knights wait without post season play for just one year.
Then, the Scarlet Knights suffered a 34-18 loss to Arizona State in what was the inaugural—and now defunct—Garden State Bowl.
The bowl game was indoctrinated as an opportunity to showcase local teams, but it met its demise after just four seasons in 1981, thanks mostly to lack of local team involvement and lack of interest in attending a winter game in cold temperatures.
Thirty-plus years later, the Pinstripe Bowl is in its second year of existence, pitting a Big East team against a team from the Big 12.
This is also a bowl that is intended to help local teams like Rutgers get exposure in the New York market.
Although the temperatures are likely to be unpleasant, the new Yankee Stadium offers comforts and amenities that few college football stadiums can match and will hopefully have more staying power than the Garden State Bowl had at the old Giants Stadium.
Although the official announcement is not slated until 4:30 today, it seems likely that Rutgers, who finished the Big East standings in fourth place, is the proper fit for the New York City game.
Syracuse played in the game last season, but this year they are not eligible for postseason play with just five wins.
The other local Big East team, UConn, ruined Rutgers' season a week ago, but could not keep the momentum going in its matchup with the Cincinnati Bearcats this weekend and will also miss postseason play.
The Knights should be able to bring a nice showing of red to Yankee Stadium, and that is all the bowl affiliates care about—money and fans in the seats.
So while it isn't official, RU is likely headed to NYC for the holidays.
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