Ever since it became clear that the Big 12 would not be able to fulfill its contractual bowl tie-in with the Bronx-based Pinstripe Bowl, most college football prognosticators penciled in Notre Dame for the vacant bowl slot. Even this week, a majority of bowl projections have Notre Dame opposite either Houston, Cincinnati or Rutgers from the American in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Notre Dame's most likely destination remains the Pinstripe Bowl, however there's an interesting note in today's Chicago Sun-Times mentioning that Irish players may prefer playing in warmer climes.
[Notre Dame head coach Brian] Kelly plans on consulting with the seniors while going through the process. Earlier in the week, he said recruiting opportunities wouldn't factor in where the team lands.
Wide receiver TJ Jones said that meeting is scheduled for Thursday morning.
Where would Jones, one of the team captains, like to go?
"Definitely not to play somewhere where it is snowing," Jones said.
Senior left tackle Zack Martin, another captain, echoed that sentiment.
"Like most people, don't want to play in the snow," Martin said. "But if we play there, we'll be happy for it."
If Notre Dame opts to play in another, sunnier replacement bowl (Poinsettia? Independence?), this could open up a slot in the Bronx-based bowl. Defending and two-time PINSTRIPE BOWL CHAMPION Syracuse, also looking for an open bowl slot, would be a logical choice here, but the Orange's men's basketball team hosts Villanova at the Carrier Dome -- right down the street from Yankee Stadium, right New York's College Team (TM)? -- at almost the same time.
Could the Pinstripe then turn to Boston College to fill the Big 12's bowl slot? I've got to think that plenty of Boston College fans, students and alumni will be in the tri-state area already for the holidays. Playing in the Pinstripe Bowl would also afford the program the opportunity to play in Yankee Stadium in light of BC's decision to cancel next year's previously scheduled BC-Army game at the Stadium.
Even better, the Eagles men's basketball team plays on the same day as the Pinstripe Bowl (Saturday, December 28) ... in Brooklyn ... vs. Virginia Commonwealth as part of the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival. BC could throw together a pretty solid day-night football-hoops doubleheader for fans, starting with the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium (12:15 pm kickoff), working its way down the 4 train and culminating in Brooklyn at Barclays Arena (approx. 7:30 pm tipoff).
Though fun to think about, I suppose this is getting a bit of ahead of ourselves. This plan is wholly contingent on Notre Dame passing on the Pinstripe Bowl. And while there are other more sunnier bowl games looking for replacement teams, few boast quality opponents even the caliber of the American Athletic Conference's number 4 selection.
Would you attend the Pinstripe Bowl? Bronx over Dallas? Thoughts?
HT: Nunes Magician