The Boston College football Eagles are Bronx bound!
Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC) will face Big Ten representative Penn State (6-6, 2-6 Big Ten) in the 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday, December 27 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. This will be the Eagles' first trip to play in the five-year-old bowl game. The Eagles will be making their 24th appearance in a postseason bowl game (13-10) and second straight under head coach Steve Addazio (0-1).
Boston College and Penn State have faced one another 23 times but not since the 2004 season. The Nittany Lions won 19 of the first 20 meetings between the two long-time Eastern independents, but it's Boston College that has won each of the last three in 1992, 2003 and 2004. All-time, Boston College is 37-40-2 against current members of the Big Ten Conference. Thanks, Maryland and Rutgers.
The Nittany Lions will be making their first trip to the postseason since 2011, having sit out the last two seasons due to an NCAA postseason ban. There will be plenty of narratives coming out of this game, but one of the more under-the-radar ones is the story of Penn State's leading rusher this season, Akeel Lynch (130 carries, 603 yards, 4 TDs). The Toronto native and New York State Gatorade Player of the Year originally gave a verbal commitment to Boston College, before backing out and committing to then-coach Bill O'Brien and the Nittany Lions.
This is the fifth edition of the bowl game and first featuring an ACC school. The bowl game previously paired the Big East/American Athletic with the Big XII. In its first match, Syracuse took on Kansas State with a memorable 36-34 victory going to New York's College Team. Rutgers made its first appearance a year later in beating Iowa State, 27-13. Syracuse returned to the game in 2012, beating former Big East foe West Virginia by a 38-14 mark. Last year, the bowl game brought in a mega-matchup for NYC with Notre Dame and Rutgers.
It will be nice to (finally) have a local-ish bowl game for fans to attend. I know many players from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are excited to play in front of friends and family as well. The whole "virtual road game" bowl trip every single year—Nevada and USC in San Francisco, Vanderbilt in Nashville, Boise State in Boise, North Carolina in Charlotte, Toledo in Detroit—gets old when you do it over and over again. A trip to Yankee Stadium to play in a local-ish, accessible bowl game against a regional recruiting rival (while they are down) is a nice change of pace.
Also looks like we're gonna decide this year's Lambert Meadowlands trophy on the field!