Thu Jul 23 04:25pm EDT
After decades without college football in the classic edition, the new Yankee Stadium across the street could have come back to the sport slowly, dipping its toes in to test the water --- a Notre Dame-Army game here or there, maybe, and we'll see how it goes. But the Big Apple doesn't do anything halfway, baby, it's move or get moved, eat or get eaten, shake or get shook: With revival of the ND-Army series in the Bronx confirmed for 2010, suddenly every school in the Northeast wants in on the action. In the last two days, Army has announced future dates with Rutgers, Air Force and Boston College in Yankee Stadium through 2014, and Syracuse has been floated as "in the mix" for a game there.
All of which could be soon be rather small potatoes, according to the New York Daily News, if the relevant parties follow up on talks to start a bowl game:
The Daily News has learned that there have been discussions between the NCAA and high-ranking Yankee officials, including managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, about the possibility of establishing a postseason bowl game at Yankee Stadium, beginning in 2011.
Among the details that would have to be worked out are a date (likely early December) and the minimum $2-1/2 million guarantee the NCAA requires for the participating schools.
As the News points out, New York has its place (albeit a small one) in bowl history as host to the Gotham Bowl in 1961 and 1962, featuring such far-flung participants as Baylor, Utah State, Nebraska and Miami -- none of which, it turns out, were very enthusiastic about braving the north Atlantic winters, even to raise money for the March of Dimes, leading to the game's rapid demise after just two years. The old Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan hosted the first Gotham Bowl in '61, less than three years before that building was demolished (at least it outlasted the bowl game), and the Huskers and Hurricanes met for the first time in the postseason not in the Orange Bowl, as they would so many times for big stakes in the eighties and nineties, but in Yankee Stadium in '62.
The bigger question, as always regarding new bowl games, is: Who's going to play in this game? All 34 bowls from last season have been renewed for another year despite the economic downturn, and outside of the 68 teams already represented in those games, only four eligible teams (Bowling Green, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas State and San Jose State, all limping to the finish at 6-6 in the worst conferences in the country) were left at home last year. The proposed "Cancer Bowl" in Orlando to raise money for medical research is still in the hopper. I'm sure nothing will help sell the sport to one of its most competitive and indifferent markets like "Bowling Green vs. San Jose State ... next!" Thank god that never happened on Babe Ruth's field.