By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 26- The relatively short, 3 year, but respected history of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl will become even more renowned next year when teams from the Big 10 and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) will participate in the annual late December bowl game.
The New Era Pinstripe Bowl (NEPB) began its existence in 2010, nearly a half-century after the last bowl game (Gotham Bowl) was played in the Bronx in 1962. Syracuse, under the direction of its Bronx- born coach, Doug Marrone, was victorious in the 2010 and 2012 editions of the game. Another local favorite, Rutgers, defeated Iowa State in 2011.
The final NEPB battle between representatives of the Big East and the Big 12 will take place on December 28 and be viewed throughout the nation on ESPN. A large crowd is expected to attend as the attendance has increased in number each year.
Recent increases in number, strength and area coverage of the major college athletic conferences will create new rivalries within and between the new groupings. During the month of June the ACC and Big 10 have joined the NEPB which will begin a new college football tradition at the current Yankee Stadium.
At the press conference at Yankee Stadium, Yankees President Randy Levine remarked about the future match-ups, “It worked out incredibly. The ACC versus the Big 10 is second to none except the BCS.”
On June 3, it was announced that the Big 10 would be represented at the Pinstripe Bowl beginning in 2014 for a period of, at least, eight years. Three weeks and one day later, the rumored addition of the ACC to the bowl game for a minimum of six years was officially announced at a press conference at Yankee Stadium.
The reasoning behind the desire of both conferences to play at the NEPB was similar, New York City is the media capital of the world, Yankee Stadium is a legendary sports venue, the holiday season in New York is a wonderful experience and both collegiate conferences wish to make themselves a presence in New York.
Another factor attracting the college conferences to Yankee Stadium was the influence of George Steinbrenner. The late Yankees owner was involved in football in the Big 10. On Tuesday, ACC Commissioner John Swofford reminisced of the time when he was Assistant Athletic Director at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Steinbrenner arranged for the Yankees to play at Chapel Hill during three of the four years Steinbrenner’s daughter, Jennifer, was a Morehouse Scholar at the university.
Levine spoke of his expectations that Yankee Stadium will host a BCS semi-final or even a BCS championship contest in the near future. He promised, “After several years, you can be sure we’ll be contacting them.’