Saturday, December 28, 2013

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2013: New Era Pinstripe Bowl

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Notre Dame returns to the site (sort of) where they won one for the Gipper.
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The When/Where:
Saturday, December 28th at 12 p.m. EST. Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York. ESPN

The Who:
Rutgers Scarlett Knights (6-6, 3-5 American) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-4)

The Why:
The Pinstripe Bowl was invented to show you how awful the Super Bowl could be in New York. The winner gets the George M. Steinbrenner trophy…now that’s worth the trophy case. It is supposed to be a American Conference team vs. a Big 12 team or Notre Dame.

Notre Dame returns to the site of where they won one for the gipper (Old Yankee Stadium) after the Big 12 was unable to come up with a team.  The Irish had good wins over Michigan State and Arizona State. However they also had a stinker in losing to Pittsburgh.

Rutgers is just happy to be here, to anywhere really. The Knights started off 4-1 and held on to qualify for a bowl with a win over South Florida for bowl eligibility. It’s an awful football conference, so 3-5 is nothing to write home about.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:

These two teams are pretty middle of the pack on everything. They both average just short of 400 yards per game and both average 27 ppg. Each team throws the ball a little more than they run.

QB Tommy Rees will lead Notre Dame against a shaky Rutgers defense that has given up the most yards in school history. Yikes! Rees to TJ Jones (1,000 receiving yards) could be a potent combination all day.

Rutgers will start Chas Dodd, who took over 3 games ago. His biggest weapon is RB Paul James who was just short of 1,000 yards this year.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
There is likely to be a good crowd for such a mediocre game. So there’s that.

Rutgers is joining the Big 10 next year and Notre Dame has spurned the Big 10. Its too bad, the Irish should be in the Big 10. Great games, rivalries.  Instead they are playing footsie with the ACC. I’m sure it will feel the same when Notre Dame goes to North Carolina State next year.

Nevertheless, despite the tradition, the leprechaun, the fight song, the golden helmets…we are compelled to rally to the aid of our newest Big 10 brethren. Don’t embarrass us, Rutgers…oh wait, too late.

The Vegas Edge:
The Irish are a 17-point favorite. I mean, what? There really isn’t that much difference between these teams. Notre Dame is 2-9 in its last 11 bowls. The over/under is 51.

The Sweatpants Verdict
I think the Irish win, but covering 17 points seems like a high bar for any bowl team. They might have the crowd and they definitely played a tougher schedule.  Also Rutgers is a hot mess.

Notre Dame 27  Rutgers 16.

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