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Yankee Bowl set to become reality

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

The long-rumored Yankee Bowl in New York City will be announced on Wednesday. The game will begin next season and will pit the No. 4 Big East team against the No. 7 team from the Big 12.

The No. 3 Big East team could go to the Yankee Bowl if Notre Dame takes the league's Champs Sports Bowl bid once during the next four-year cycle. And the Irish are tangentially involved in the Yankee Bowl, because they could take the Big 12 spot in years when the Big 12 doesn't have enough eligible teams.

A lot of things would have to happen for that to occur, including the Irish going 6-6 or 7-5 and not getting interest from other major bowls. But wouldn't that be fun to see a Big East team playing Notre Dame in a bowl?

We've talked about the Yankee Bowl here before at length, and despite the weather issues, I think it's a great idea. Fans can go to New York City, which is so close for many of the league teams and the city is a Big East base. It's also good that the Big 12 is on the other side, though No. 7 is pretty low. If the Big 12 puts two teams in the BCS, as it did a year ago, then it might not have a seventh bowl-eligible team. That would have been the case last season.

The Yankee Bowl basically replaces the International Bowl in the Big East lineup, which will now consist of the Champs Sports, Meineke Car Care, Papajohns.com and St. Petersburg bowls in addition to the New York City game.

The league pretty much helped invent two games in its lineup, with the St. Pete bowl being the other. There's not a real traditional game in the bunch, but there are good sites for the most part. Remember that bowl games are businesses whose primary job is to fill hotel rooms and restaurants. That's why conferences like the Big Ten, with their huge alumni bases and eager traveling fans, are so attractive to bowl games regardless of performance. The Big East just isn't at that level yet, like it or not.

Does America really need a 35th college bowl game? Of course not. But if there's going to be a new one that the Big East is involved with, aren't you glad it's in New York City?