Notre Dame bowl watch: Pinstripe re-emerges as possibility

Notre Dame bowl watch: Pinstripe re-emerges as possibility
November 16, 2013, 6:30 pm
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If Notre Dame goes to New York instead of Detroit or Shreveport, La., for its bowl game, it'll have Charlie Weis to thank.

Kansas snapped a 27-game Big 12 losing streak when it beat West Virginia, 31-19, Saturday in Lawrence. But that's not what's important for Notre Dame — it was West Virginia's seventh loss of the season, rendering them ineligible for a bowl.

Couple the Mountaineers' loss with Kansas State's 33-31 win over TCU, and the Big 12 won't be able to fill its bowl requirements. The Pinstripe Bowl's tie-in is with the Big 12's seventh bowl-eligible team, which could've been West Virginia or TCU before both lost for the seventh time on Saturday.

Instead, the Pinstripe Bowl now has an open spot and one that makes plenty of sense for Notre Dame.

[MORE: Notre Dame not yet setting sights on 2014]

Northwestern's triple-overtime loss to Michigan makes the Big Ten's chances of having eight bowl-eligible teams slim, possibly opening a spot in the Little Caesar's Bowl in Detroit (though the bowl does have a backup tie-in with the Sun Belt). Northwestern will have to beat Michigan State and Illinois to become bowl-eligible. An even greater longshot is 4-6 Indiana, which needs wins at Ohio State and vs. Purdue to win six games.

The Independence Bowl in Shreveport is on the table, and if Tennessee is not bowl eligible, the BBVA Compass Bowl (Jan. 4) or Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31) could become options. Both have SEC tie-ins, one of which wouldn't be filled if the Vols don't beat Vanderbilt and Kentucky to close out their season.

Army lost its seventh game last week, opening a spot in the Poinsettia Bowl if Notre Dame is inclined to play its bowl game in San Diego.

Edit, Nov. 17: The Independence Bowl is already open, and does not need Tennessee to lose a seventh game (it was originally stated in the article the Independence Bowl would open up only if Tennessee were ineligible for a bowl). Because the SEC will certainly get two teams into the BCS (Alabama + Auburn/Mizzou/South Carolina/Texas A&M), it won't fill out 10 bowl slots. Hat-tip to Twitter user @Zacharywberg for pointing this out.