Facing Penn State in the Pinstripe Bowl is about the best way we could have ended a 7-5 season in Year 2. The bowl lacks history, warm weather or even a great date, but it provides a few important opportunities for BC.
1. The game is very winnable. Penn State's best win was against Rutgers. Good showings against Ohio State and Maryland were negated by terrible games against bad Illinois and Michigan teams. There offense is far from explosive. The only reason to fear them is their run defense. Statistically it is the best in the nation, making this a strength vs. strength matchup. But I still think we are the better team.
2. It is against against a traditional power. This is a hobbled six-win team dealing with a depleted roster. The Penn State brand has also been soiled by the Sandusky scandal. However, the record books won't care. The media won't care. I doubt even recruits care that much. What will matter is beating a Big Ten team. It will matter that we beat Penn State.
3. The game is close to our fans and recruiting base. The Tri-State area is home to BC's second largest alumni base. We could sell out our ticket allotment alone just through fans that live in the area. If you plan on going to the game, please buy your tickets from BC! It will make all the difference in improving our travel reputation. We are also still recruiting New Jersey and New York players for the 2015 and 2016 classes. Being in the area for the week raises awareness and creates more opportunities to visit with players.
We need to win this game. The difference in perception between eight and seven wins is huge. It would also be a nice conclusion to a surprising second year. While I will keep hoping for a big bowl, this is better than most circumstances.