One of the knocks on the Big Ten recently has been their performance in bowl games. Nowhere was it more starkly evident than just last season, when the conference went 1-6 in bowl games. Iowa was the only team to notch a win, prevailing over utterly hopeless South Carolina.
But the gripe from the BXI has always been that aside from the Motor City Bowl in Detroit, the bowl games are essentially road games. The Rose Bowl date with the Pac-10 is in Pasadena, a scant couple miles from the USC campus. Up until this year, three of the conference’s bowl slots were in Florida - SEC country, basically - and the others were in Texas and Arizona. As a matter of fact, in none of the 7 games was the Big Ten team closer to the bowl site than their opponent. It usually wasn’t even close.
The Big Ten is looking to level that playing field just a little bit, though, and reports are that they’re looking hard at a site in New York. One tiny problem, though - there’s going to be lots of those guys in that picture above.
Yes, according to the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, the Big Ten’s already in negotiations for a Yankee Bowl, even if it’s years away:
The Tribune has learned Big Ten officials have met with Yankee Stadium representatives to discuss a bowl game that would be played at the so-called “House that George Built.”
“It’s an interesting concept,” Big Ten Associate Commissioner Mark Rudner said. “It’s compelling.”
Rudner cautioned that any bowl game at Yankee Stadium would not occur during the four-year cycle that will begin after the 2010 regular season. The NCAA has yet to certify Yankee Stadium, and the Big Ten is already far along in negotiations with other bowls.
There you have it. The allure of the massive New York market is tantalizing, especially since the only college football team trying to make any inroads there is Syracuse and they completely suck.
But if NYC’s not a college football city, then it’s wasted energy; look at the NHL’s desire to capitalize on the Phoenix market in spite of its decidedly non-hockey-city status and how that ended up, after all.
As far as reducing the road game status, though, this story probably doesn’t have a happy ending. Only Ohio State and Penn State are within so much as 600 miles of New York. That’s important (emphasis ours):
But Yankee Stadium officials made a solid case with athletic directors during spring meetings in Chicago. One scenario would have a Big Ten team face a Big East opponent.
Whoops. Oh well, Big Ten. Maybe someday, someone’s going to have to come from the south into your house in the postseason. The Muncie Bowl’s going to happen, just you wait…