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Pinstripe Bowl Preview: Kansas State, Syracuse in the House that Steinbrenner Built

Pinstripe Bowl, December 30, 3:20 p.m. ET, ESPN

What it is: An attempt to rekindle memories of college football being played in Yankee Stadium, even though you have to be Beano Cook's age to have those memories and this is in a completely new building.

The Teams: Kansas State and Syracuse

How Kansas State got here: K-State is still recovering somewhat from the Ron Prince era, but Bill Snyder seems to have the program back on track a bit. The standout for the team was RB Daniel Thomas, who rushed for 1,495 yards (5.4 average) and 16 TDs. Uncharacteristically for a Synder team, they played UCLA and UCF out of conference. The Wildcats beat them both, but the win over the Knights was probably their best all year. They lost to the four best Big 12 teams they played in Nebraska, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Missouri.

How Syracuse got here: No one was quite sure what Syracuse was doing when it hired Doug Marrone, but he's worked out great so far at his alma mater. While the 'Cuse wasn't exactly revisiting its glory years back when Donovan McNabb was around, the Orange got to its seven wins not through luck by by being doggedly average (a marked improvement over the Greg Robinson days). Two of the seven wins were over Maine and Colgate, but two more were over West Virginia and USF. The Orange were all over the map, but no one there is complaining about making a bowl again.

College football fans care because: It's a chance for a snow game, and it's been a while since Syracuse was in a bowl.

SEC fans care because: Bill Synder is involved, and who doesn't like a good zombie flick?

Watch this game if...: You want a chance to see Syracuse top off its return to the postseason with a win in its home state. Tom Rinaldi does.

The result: Syracuse 27, Kansas State 21