TJ Jones, Shayne Skov
Updated: January 8, 2014 6:13AM
Notre Dame has warmed to the idea of playing in New York.
The Irish accepted a bid to the Pinstripe Bowl on Friday, according to a CBSSports.com report. Notre Dame will likely face a school from the American Athletic Conference. The game, which has a reported $1.8 million payout, is at 11:15 a.m. on Dec. 28 at Yankee Stadium.
“PINSTRIPE BOWL!!!!!! Coming home!!!!! #yankeestadium!!!!” Notre Dame defensive lineman Jarron Jones wrote on Twitter. Jones is from Rochester, N.Y.
The Irish would not have had nose guard Louis Nix III for the game, regardless. He was lost for the season after having knee surgery in November. But according to Sports Business Journal, Nix has signed with Five-Star Athlete Management’s Todd France and Brian Ayrault, meaning he is on his way to making himself eligible for the 2014 NFL draft. Nix was set to graduate in December, but he had one more year of eligibility.
Notre Dame has a long history with New York. But the players initially were not crazy about spending the bowl season in a cold environment.
“Everybody kind of wants to go some place that is warm, but that’s not really our call,” senior cornerback Bennett Jackson said after Saturday’s 27-20 loss to Stanford. Jackson is from Hazlet, N.J. “If we go to the Pinstripe Bowl, cool. I have plenty of family and friends out there. I just want to go somewhere where everybody can have fun. I don’t care what bowl we go to. I just want to be able to play great competition and be able to enjoy that last game with all my brothers.”
According to various reports, Notre Dame made a push at the Hawaii Bowl. The Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego was floated as another option.
But both had tie-ins with conferences that would have required juggling.
The Pinstripe Bowl became available because the Big 12 didn’t qualify enough teams to fill its bowl allotment.
Rutgers and Houston could be among the options as opponents for the Irish. Rutgers is 5-6 and needs to beat South Florida today to become bowl-eligible.