At 3:30 p.m. EST, Kansas State and Syracuse do battle in the Pinstripe Bowl, played at Yankee Stadium. Need to decide on a team to root for? Spencer Hall is here to help.
THEY SAID DOUG MARRONE! TAKE A SHOT! Your eyes do not deceive you: that is Syracuse in a bowl game in Yankee Stadium, a sight a sane person would have dismissed as a fever dream three years ago before the bowl and Syracuse's viability as a football program existed. What can firing Greg Robinson do? It can get you playing in a bowl game in New York City in a baseball stadium, which is more than keeping Greg Robinson ever did for the Orangemen. You might not think it's worth its own drinking game, but you didn't suffer through the GERG era. Take a shot and stop your complaining about a frigid bowl game in a largely indifferent Big Apple.
THE HORSE OF INTEREST. Syracuse's Delone Carter may not be used to running exposed to the elements, but that is too bad because on a frigid New York afternoon he is going to get the ball a zillion times. Syracuse is best described as a "nice little team" at this point: a tidy passing game anchored by Ryan Nassib, Carter on the run threat, and a trio of receivers whose names put in a row--"Provo Lemon Chew"--makes for either an evocative indie band name or a delicious Mormon confection. Theirs is a heartwarming story of what firing someone with prejudice can do for your football program.
GIVE THEM SOME SHORT SHORTS AND CAULIFLOWER EAR AND YOU HAVE A RUGBY TEAM. Kansas State didn't just go retro with the Bill Snyder hire. K-State threw 268 times and ran the ball 518 times. Their QB had a game against Texas--a win, mind you--where they threw the ball just four times. The K-State offense with a lead is a glorified rugby offense unaware of the forward pass. This works a lot better than one might imagine, especially if they can hold the ball forever. The Wildcats defense is one of the Big 12's least effective units, making their best defense an offense that snaps the ball with one second on the clock on every snap.
INTANGIBLES OF VARIOUS RELEVANCE. The only real question to ask here is this: which team fired the one true Prince? That's right. It certainly wasn't Syracuse, was it? Also, Otto the Orange is adorable, and K-State's mascot is just a guy in a football uniform with a huge foam head. (Don't mess with Otto, though. He WILL put you down.)