(MCT) Start spreading the news, WVU is headed to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
The Mountaineers (7-5, 4-5 Big 12) accepted an invitation to the P i n s t r i p e Bowl late Sunday night and will face former conference rival Syracuse (7-5, 5-2 Big East). The game will be played Dec. 29 at Yankee Stadium in New York City.
“We finished the season strong with two straight wins, and I am glad our players get the reward of playing in a bowl game,” WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said in a statement released by the Pinstripe Bowl. “This will be West Virginia’s 11th straight bowl appearance and one more chance for our fans to see the 2012 Mountaineers. Playing in New York City will provide a national stage and Yankee Stadium will be a great venue for our seniors to finish their careers.”
The Mountaineers won their first five games and were ranked No. 5 in the nation when the team stumbled into a five-game losing streak. WVU fell to Texas Tech, Kansas State, TCU, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma before closing out the season with victories against Iowa State and Kansas.
The Mountaineers’ finished the regular season in a five-way tie for the fourthbest overall record in the Big 12, along with Oklahoma State, Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech.
Syracuse’s season followed a different path. The Orange lost four of their first six games this season but rallied to win five of their last six, including a 45-26 victory against Louisville (10-2, 5-2).
The Orange finished in a four-way tie for the Big East championship, along with the Cardinals, Cincinnati and Rutgers. Louisville won the tiebreaker to secure the conference’s automatic BCS berth and will face Florida in the Sugar Bowl.
This year marks the third annual bowl game at Yankee Stadium, which pits the No. 7 team in the Big 12 against the No. 4 team in the Big East. The Big East has won the previous two matchups. Syracuse defeated Kansas State, 36-34, in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl in 2010 and Rutgers downed Iowa State, 27-13, last year.
“We are thrilled to be invited to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl for the second time in three years,” Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone said. “It means a great deal to us to play a bowl game in Yankee Stadium where many of our alumni and fans will have the opportunity to share it with us.”
The Pinstripe Bowl will be a matchup between two soon-to-be-former Big East members.
In September 2011, Syracuse, along with Pitt, announced that they were leaving the conference for the ACC. The Mountaineers soon followed the Orange and the Panthers, accepting an invitation to join the Big 12 on Oct. 28, 2011.
WVU sued to gain its immediate exit from the Big East, reached a settlement with the conference in February and officially joined the Big 12 on July 1. Later that month, Pitt and Syracuse both agreed to terms with the Big East, allowing them to leave for the ACC in the summer of 2013.
The Pinstripe Bowl will mark the Syracuse football team’s final game as a member of the Big East and will be WVU’s first game against a Big East opponent since leaving the conference.
WVU is 27-32 all-time against Syracuse.
Because of travel arrangements and previously scheduled recruiting visits, Holgorsen did not hold a conference call on Sunday night.
(c) 2012 The Dominion Post (Morgantown, W.Va.)
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