"It is a terrific situation when you can play your bowl game in the greatest city in the world," said Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. "Getting an opportunity to play in a bowl game hosted by the New York Yankees is a great reward for our players."
For Iowa State, it will mark their first-ever appearance at the home of the Yankees (either the original or the current Yankee Stadium). Iowa State finished the regular season 6-6, handing Oklahoma State - the No. 3 team in the country - their only loss of the season, and defeating in-state rival Iowa as well as the Big East's University of Connecticut on the road. The Cyclones will appear in their seventh bowl game in the last 12 seasons, going 3-7 all time in bowl game appearances.
"We are thrilled to have the chance to extend our season with a bowl trip to New York City," said Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads. "Our team has improved all season, and is playing its best football. Every year we start with a goal of winning a bowl game, and we'll have the opportunity in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against an outstanding Rutgers team."
Kickoff for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl is scheduled for 3:20 p.m. ET on Friday, December 30. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN, which has also secured national and local radio rights for ESPN Radio. There is a four-year agreement extending through 2013 for the Big East and Big 12 to participate in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.
The 2011 New Era Pinstripe Bowl will be the fourth college football game to take place at the current Yankee Stadium. The original Yankee Stadium played host to a number of college football games from the year it opened in 1923, including New York University and Fordham home games and the two schools' annual matchup. From 1925-46, and again in 1969, the annual Notre Dame-Army football game took place at Yankee Stadium, including the memorable "win one for the Gipper" matchup in 1928, and the 1946 contest which ended in a scoreless tie and featured four Heisman Trophy winners (Doc Blanchard, Glenn Davis, Johnny Lujack and Leon Hart). From 1968-73 and '76-87, Grambling played a series of home games at Yankee Stadium, known as the Whitney M. Young Urban Classic.
Both Rutgers and Iowa State far exceeded preseason expectations. The 8-4 Scarlet Knights were projected in the preseason to go 4-8 by the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com while the Cyclones (6-6) were saddled with a 2-10 forecast. None of the major season preview magazines and websites had Rutgers finishing higher than 7th in the Big East and none had Iowa State higher than 8th in the Big 12.
The Congrove Computer Rankings project Rutgers as a mere 0.665-point winner for the fourth-closest predicted outcome of the 35 postseason games.