After a week of serious concerns over whether or not the 6-6 Syracuse Orange would have a bowl to play in, the Orange ended up in what has to be considered one of the best results possible. They'll play in the Texas Bowl, in a major media market (Houston), against a BCS opponent (Minnesota) and televised on ESPN (instead of ESPNU as the Heart of Dallas Bowl will be).
How did we go from table-scraps to a solid bowl full of goodness?
"It was kind of exhilarating and kind of fun in that regard, and it got to a point where you saw some of the games come through and you felt like, 'OK, there's enough bowl games or enough teams here that we're going to end up in this,'" Gross told the Post-Standard/syracuse.com by phone late Sunday night.
"I felt pretty confident the whole way that we would be in a position to get a good bowl bid, and the enigma was where were we going to go and how was it going to play out and who the opponent was going to be and all those things."
Gross told Nate Mink that the other bowls he was working were the Pinstripe, Military, AdvoCare V100, Beef 'O' Brady's, Little Caesars and Music City.
Coach Shafer seems pretty happy with the results: "He said, 'Don't worry, I'm going to get you the best bowl possible,' and I believe he did." And he's already in the spirit on Twitter:
Beat Minnesota.— Coach Scott Shafer (@Coach_Shafer) December 9, 2013
Shafer on team's reaction: We didn't announce until bowl came out, there was a lot of excitment. They're excited. They've bust their rumps.— chris carlson (@ccarlsononSU) December 9, 2013
Shafer is pre-game planning now. Not just for the game itself but also for the pre-game festivities:
"Some of our players get a chance to lasso some calves or something," Shafer said. "I've already got a short list. Josh Kirkland might be good at that coming out of Kansas. Drew Allen, we might need him to teach these guys how to tie a lasso as well as throw a lasso. He'll be a big part of the game-plan there."