I went back and forth this week on whether or not the Quest-O-Meter should be at 100% or 0%.
"But Sean, how could it be either, or even both? That doesn't make any sense."
Shut up, idiot. Yes it does, let me explain.
The QOM should be at 100% because the Syracuse Orange have qualified for a bowl game. And in they are a lock to either have six or seven wins. If that's not prime Beef O'Brady Bowl territory, I don't know what is.
The QOM should also be at 0% because this is a strange year. The Big East currently has four bowl eligible teams (Louisville, Rutgers, Cincinnati & Syracuse) and two teams eliminated from bowl contention (Temple & USF). That leaves Pitt & UConn, who both need to win-out...it doesn't look good. UConn has L'ville and Cincy while Pitt has Rutgers and USF. Odds are, the Big East will only get four bowl teams.
Louisville and Rutgers are going to battle it out for the Orange Bowl & Russell Athletic Bowl, leaving Cincinnati and Syracuse to fight over the 3rd spot. The Belk Bowl will get their choice between the Bearcats and the Orange and they are not required to take Cincy despite the fact that the Bearcats have a better record. However, given the proximity, I have to believe they'll pick Cincy (perhaps aided by a handshake deal with the Pinstripe).
Once the Belk Bowl gets their pick, the Pinstripe Bowl is fourth in line and takes whoever is left. If it's Syracuse, they'll be glad to have us. We'll pack Yankee Stadium again and DOC Gross will promote New York's College Team to the moon. With Rutger's impending move to the Big Ten, doing so is exactly what he's looking for.
And in the ridiculously-off-chance that UConn and Pitt qualify for bowl games, it's a safe bet that the Pinstripe Bowl will still choose us over either of them.
Alas, that means the BBVA Compass Bowl, AutoZone Liberty Bowl and Beef O'Brady Bowl will probably have to look elsewhere for participants. And just like with the Quest For Toronto, it seems the Quest For Beef shall forever go unfulfilled.
But even though it won't be for Beef, we need to celebrate bowl eligibility. So let's crank that sucker to 100% because it feels good to do so.
QOM by Corey Paige
We know all about Temple so I'm not gonna worry about them. Instead, let's see if we can try to pinpoint who we'll almost certainly play in the Pinstripe.
The Pinstripe Bowl gets seventh pick of Big 12 teams. Looking at the standings, we can safely eliminate Kansas State (for once), Oklahoma, Texas & Oklahoma State.
Fifth pick for the Big 12 goes to the Holiday Bowl and they'll probably take either Texas Tech or TCU. Whichever one doesn't go there will certainly go to the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.
That brings us to the seventh pick and the Pinstripe. According to the standings, that would be Iowa State Cyclones. But, as mentioned earlier, the bowl is not under an obligation to take the best-available team. Factoring in that they hosted ISU last year, and given the Northeastern appeal of the team next-in-line after them, it would be a safe bet to assume our old friends the West Virginia Mountaineers will be returning to Gotham for one more barn-dance.
Of course, the 'Eers will have to qualify first. They play Iowa State this weekend and then finish the season with Kansas, so they probably will. So as of this moment, I would say get ready to dust off the Schwartzwalder Trophy for one (probably) last battle.
And while this is a discussion for later, yes I think the Schwartzwalder should be up for grabs if we do play West Virginia. I don't care about over shadowing the Pinstripe, they'd be dumb not to take advantage of it for PR purposes. And if we took it off the table for some made-up reason, that would be cowardly. I don't want to have to hear about that from a bunch of couch-burners.