When you think of rivalries through the years, Syracuse vs. Kansas State doesn't exactly come to mind. And yet, you could argue that these two teams have become something of bowl rivals over the course of the last thirteen years.
The 2010 Pinstripe Bowl will be the third bowl game battle between these two teams since 1997. The Orange will have played the Wildcats in three of their last six bowls, the Wildcats will have seen the Orange in three of their last nine.
It's not exactly Oklahoma-Nebraska but hey, the Orange will have played Kansas State more often than they've played traditional rival Penn State over the same time period.
The first bowl matchup between the two took place on much more esteemed grounds. The 1997 Fiesta Bowl pitted the No. 10 Kansas State Wildcats, led by wily QB Michael Bishop, against the No. 14 Orangemen, led by wily QB Donovan McNabb. It was supposed to be a showdown between the two athletic quarterbacks but it turned into more of a national coming-out party for the Wildcats.
The Orange took an early 3-0 lead thanks to Nate Trout's field goal. From there on out it was mostly Kansas State's day. The Wildcats scored 21 second-quarter points and took a 21-15 lead into the half. The game remained close in the third quarter but eventually Bishop and the Cats broke through, scoring 14 fourth-quarter points en route to a 35-18 victory. The loss ended Syracuse's bowl game winning streak at seven.
In 2001, the two squads met again in Arizona, though this time the setting was slightly less classy. The Insight.com Bowl hosted the 9-3 Orange and the 6-5 Wildcats and this time the roles were reversed.
RB James Mungro kicked things off with a touchdown run for Syracuse and they never looked back. The Wildcats could muster only a first-half field goal as Mungro scored two more TDs before the half to make it 19-3. The Orangemen finished off the Cats with one more score to win the game 26-3.
And so the rivalry has stood since then. Tied one apiece...until the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl. Finally, the world will know which program is the greatest in the world...Kansas State or Syracuse.