Wisconsin Football will play Miami in the Pinstripe Bowl in a rematch from last year’s Orange Bowl.
The Wisconsin Football team was already having a bad enough year struggling to find 7 wins on the schedule. The Badgers still managed to reach bowl eligibility and have drawn the Miami Hurricanes for the second year in a row. Both Wisconsin and Miami have experienced down years and a rematch is the last thing I imagine fans want to see.
Last year’s Orange Bowl was a classic. For the Wisconsin football fans anyway. Alex Hornibrook balled out on his way to game MVP honors and it fueled a wildfire all offseason long that had some people thinking Wisconsin could win a national title behind his arm. We were sorely mistaken.
This year’s Pinstripe Bowl could be just as eventful as last year’s Orange Bowl, but we’ve already seen that act before. These two teams won’t be able to outdo themselves with the lower stakes in the game and the lesser talents of the teams. Not to mention this game is being played in a cold-weather city in an outdoor stadium. The players probably aren’t looking forward to this either.
I can’t imagine it will be very easy to sell tickets for this rematch, and it’ll be hard to draw the casual fan to a low-tier bowl game and a matchup we saw less than 12 months ago. These bowl games are supposed to be exciting for fans and players alike because they’re supposed to matchups we don’t see very often. Like last year’s Orange Bowl, for example. It was only the fifth time ever the two programs faced off. Now they’ll play twice in as many years.
I know the individual bowls and their committees don’t really take this into consideration, because if they did they wouldn’t have chosen this matchup. There aren’t any storylines for this game that could even drum up any excitement. Maybe, “These teams played a thriller last year. See if they can do it again! Try to ignore that they both stink now though.”
Minnesota is playing Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl the day before Wisconsin plays Miami in the Pinstripe Bowl. Both games are Big Ten vs. ACC matchups. Wouldn’t it make sense to just rearrange the opponents? The conferences had to have thought more about this. It’s baffling how such a lowly bowl game that will struggle anyways to draw much attention ends up with a rematch that nobody wants.
The biggest and final reason this bowl matchup is a bad idea is that it hurts the programs themselves. I can understand if the ratings and revenue for the game aren’t as big of a concern but the schools participating aren’t going to get much out of this either. If there’s any chance to grow as a team from playing a bowl game, these teams have already done that. They already experienced each other, they’ve already fought the battle, and Wisconsin already won.
Any recruiting battles between these two schools were decided last year. Any individual matchups that were fought during the game were already decided last year. Any opportunity these players had to benefit from playing a school from the ACC was already had last year.
With all of the ridicule that college football’s bowl system gets, this has to be the pinnacle. A rematch should be unacceptable. There are already agreements that individual bowls have with conferences to get five different teams in five years, if possible, over the course of the contract to avoid this exact scenario. Even one team ending up in the same bowl two years in a row isn’t ideal, let alone a rematch. If that’s not good enough for the bowls themselves, why is it good enough for the schools and the players?
Wisconsin and Miami will play a bowl game, but there are no guarantees it’ll be a good one. We’ll watch and hope the Badgers win, but how much does it truly matter?