[cleeng_content id="986416893" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]The dawn of December 28 in New York City will probably be brisk and giving indication that a wind will be kicking up. That Saturday will find another Pinstripe Bowl on college football’s docket.
Remember last December when West Virginia was in the Big Apple — at the very same address on Riverside Drive where Yankee Stadium was the wet and snowy host to the Mountaineers and Syracuse. West Virginia was muddied and beaten by the Orange in the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl.
Yes sir. Yankee Stadium and its prospect of cold and blustery weather now looks like an elusive mid-winter date in New York City for the Mountaineers.
That’s because such a future can’t be West Virginia’s; not since it lost to Kansas last weekend and retreated to a 4-7 overall record.
With only a partially filled Puskar Stadium in its late November future, the Mountaineers can no longer find that elusive sixth win that would have qualified it for a bowl game.
Remember last December when it had snowed for hours before the bowl game against Syracuse? The field was deep and wet as a light snow kept falling on the teams. Even those fans without cover from overhanging stands were miserable. And then the Mountaineers took a beating from the ornery Orange.
Well, at least Syracuse can’t come back to the scene and repeat last year’s mugging.
On Saturday, Dec. 28, the Pinstripe Bowl will kickoff at about 12:30 p.m.
West Virginia will have finished on Nov. 29 against the Iowa State Cyclones in a match of two troubled Big 12 teams. Neither side will be a conference representative in any of this year’s bowl bashes.
No Pinstripe retribution for the much-injured Mountaineers. No joyous New York City holiday gathering for the bundled fans dressed in blue and gold. It won’t be possible that West Virginia will be punished again by a sentence to the chilled Pinstripe Bowl.
The Big 12 has working agreements with a total of seven bowls. Of the 10 teams in the Big 12, only six of them will have records that sport six wins.
Kansas has won three times and owns its lone conference win against West Virginia. Iowa State had only one win and that was against Coach Charlie Weis’s Kansas Jayhawks. And Texas Christian did not win the required six games and registered an uncomfortable losing season.
The Big 12 has only six teams to send to some bowl game.
West Virginia’s seven losses are among the worst in the 10-team league. It’s mounting injury list could not be soothed because its many replacements were not capable or experienced enough.
Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas Tech are the Big 12 teams ready to go bowling in December and January.
At least Syracuse won’t be waiting in ambush in the South Bronx for the men of coach Dana Holgorsen.
The American Athletic Conference is a first-year conference forced on its schools by the splintering of the Big East. The new league will supply the Pinstripe Bowl with a team.
In the new league are Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida from the old Big East. Joining those five schools for football are Temple, SMU, Memphis, Central Florida and Houston.
Not many juggernauts in that crew, but then West Virginia wouldn’t want to see a forceful team anyway.
Come the morn of December 28, the first rays of sunlight will stream into Yankee Stadium and be greeted by two bowl teams that probably would rather have been bowling somewhere in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona or even Tennessee.
West Virginia’s athletic administration would gladly volunteer their team for the bowl game that was full of snow, light rain, deep footing and Syracuse touchdowns a year ago.