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2012 Pinstripe Bowl: Pitt could earn invite over Syracuse

If Pitt becomes bowl eligible Saturday it's expected to earn a Pinstripe Bowl invite over Syracuse.

Chris McGrath

A "Backyard Brawl" showdown in New York City? It will happen if the Pittsburgh Panthers defeat the South Florida Bulls Saturday and become bowl eligible, a bowl official has told NBC's Ryan Burr.

That means the Syracuse Orange, who became bowl eligible almost three weeks ago, would be forced to play in the BBVA Compass Bowl (Jan. 5 - Birmingham, AL) or the Belk Bowl (Dec. 27 - Charlotte, NC). The Orange (7-5) played in the Pinstripe Bowl two seasons ago, and defeated the Kansas St. Wildcats, 36-34.

The Pinstripe Bowl, which will be played at Yankee Stadium, Dec. 29, pits a Big East Conference team against a Big 12 Conference opponent. According to officials a Backyard Brawl showdown between the Panthers and West Virginia Mountaineers, a long-time rival of Pitt, which is located just 75 miles away, would sell out Yankee Stadium.

A match-up between Syracuse and West Virginia, which were also rivals in the Big East and played annually for the Schwartzwalder Trophy, would be a highly-anticipated contest but its not projected to bring a sellout crowd.

The last time Syracuse played at Yankee Stadium the attendance was 38,274. Last year's showdown between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Iowa St. Cyclones drew 38,328. The capacity at Yankee Stadium is 50,291.