After FINALLY clinching that elusive sixth win on Friday over the Iowa State Cyclones, we can at long last freely talk bowls without fear of enacting some sort of jinx. It's a pretty short and straightforward conversation. The bowl prospects of the Mountaineers seem to be distilled to one of two choices:
The Holiday Bowl in sunny San Diego
The Pinstripe Bowl in New York City's hallowed (and most likely frigid) Yankee Stadium
So the question to you, Mountaineer fans is twofold - who would you rather see your team play and will you be making the trip? I've tossed together a little summation of what I see in each situation and then added some polls for you to cast your vote. Please avail yourself of your Constitutionally protected right to vote and then provide your reasons in the comments sections.
The Pinstripe Bowl
This has a lot going for it, especially if Pitt can pull out one more win to get to 6 and become the likely opponent. First of all it's within driving distance, so the travel will be much better than what you'd see with most other bowls. Second even if the Panthers can't come through (and we have every reason to believe that they won't what with them being Pitt and all) I'd be perfectly content playing Syracuse or even Louisville - the most likely non-Panther opponents. If it's not one of those the bloom is off the rose pretty quick - WVU fans didn't care to watch games against Cincinnati or Rutgers before, no reason to think they'd care now.
Another positive is the setting - doesn't get much cooler than Yankee Stadium. It would certainly be a unique experience for WVU fans/players. Having said that the weather becomes a negative pretty quick. There's a reason that the majority of bowls are located in the south - folks see them as vacations and nobody wants to pack long underwear unless it involves skiing.
The Holiday Bowl
If Arizona were a possibility here this would be a much more attractive option. From a storyline standpoint it would raise the profile of the game nationally, but how many WVU fans would travel to San Diego to personally oversee "revenge" on former coachcan be debated.
Unfortunately when Holiday Bowl executive director Bruce Binkowski gave MetroNews' Allan Taylor his shortlist, the Wildcats were nowhere to be found: "I'd say Oregon State, UCLA, maybe Stanford and maybe USC," he told Taylor.
It's still a pretty nice list with some marquee names. From a program perception standpoint it's not hard to see how playing USC or UCLA would be a helluva lot more attractive than playing a Big East re-tread. Additionally a win over a big name like that would do a lot to salvage a season that has fallen short of expectations.
So there it is folks. Manifest Destiny or Manhattan (technically the Bronx I guess). Who do you want? Where would you travel? Speak your minds and be thankful that we finally have a decision to make.