Yankee Stadium should be a destination for the ACC and Big Ten. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images
The College Football Playoff is just around the corner and conferences from coast to coast are working to find strategies to bolster schedule strength and conference profile. Other than moving to nine-game conference schedules, conferences are looking to lock in future bowl partners. It is the closest we may get to free agency for conferences now that realignment seems to have been put on ice, unless we want to dive in to recruiting.
The Big Ten is among those conferences looking to secure future bowl partnerships to compliment deals in place with the Rose Bowl and the Orange Bowl. While some may feel the game is worthless, the Pinstripe Bowl should now be a destination for the Big Ten and ACC every postseason.
The Pinstripe Bowl, played in not-so-historic Yankee Stadium, looks like an obvious choice for the Big Ten. It is played in cold weather, which the Big Ten should embrace. It is played in the New York market, which is certainly a factor with the addition of Rutgers in 2014. And it is played in Yankee Stadium, the symbol of royalty in baseball and the sporting world. Yankee Stadium is everything the Big Ten represents: Bigger is better, and richer.
Fortunately, it appears as though this bowl is gaining momentum to join the Big Ten line-up. But which conference will line up on the other side of the field on an annual basis? The Big 12 and the Big East have participated in the past three Pinstripe Bowls, with the Big East owning a possibly surprising 3-0 record. This may lead the Big 12 to get out of sending one of their teams in to the cold of the Bronx every December and maybe look for another bowl tie-in a little closer to home. Hey, trips to New York are nice but at what expense? Three straight losses to the conference that has been picked apart by national pundits on an annual basis for years as conference realignment tears it from limb to limb?
Speaking of which, would the Pinstripe Bowl have much interest in continuing their relationship with the Big East as they switch conference identity to The American. The American is losing Syracuse and Pittsburgh this season to the ACC, and Louisville will join them in 2014. Rutgers is joining the Big Ten at the same time. The American will be bringing in some new blood over the next couple of years to replace those departing members, but it will take time to rebuild any sense of a national brand the conference once had. I would suspect the Pinstripe Bowl will replace The American first, and the Big Ten should be at the top of the list.
If the Big 12 remains on the line-up, that would be fine. In fact, the Big 12 would probably be more inclined to stay on board with the Pinstripe Bowl if the Big Ten did replace The American. I am just going to guess the Big 12 will leave their spot vacant.
This is where the ACC needs to jump in. … Continue Reading