John McMackin, Staff Writer

Where will the Irish be playing their final game of the season?

After the football team’s loss to Pittsburgh, the Fighting Irish are out of contention to attend a second straight BCS bowl game. But have no fear! A bowl game, albeit a slightly less glamorous one, is still on its way. Below are the top bowl games to which I think the Irish have a chance to be invited. These potential bowl destinations are arranged in order of both chance of invitation and the factor of location.

(1) The New Era Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium, New York, New York

This bowl is definitely the frontrunner. Returning to Yankee Stadium for another game would hardly be a bad landing spot for the Irish. Notre Dame would be filling a spot for the Big 12. I predict that Baylor and Oklahoma State both get BCS bids, and that TCU will not be able to scrape together enough wins to be bowl-eligible. The weather would be an issue (check out the bowl’s website for frosty pictures of last year’s champion Syracuse), but when compared to the other bowl game sites, nothing beats playing football in the Big Apple.

(2) The Military Bowl in RFK Stadium, Washington, DC

This is a bit of a fall-off from the first choice. RFK is no Yankee Stadium. Notre Dame would be facing off against Rice and taking one of the ACC’s spots in this game. With Florida State and Clemson both getting BCS bids and Pittsburgh upsetting a few other mid-level ACC teams’ postseason hopes, the door could be open for the Irish. This scenario is not as likely because there is a chance that another team (eg, Maryland or Syracuse) wins one more game and takes this slot, but the location of Washington, DC, makes this an attractive bowl. Maybe John Boehner will make another appearance like last year in Miami.

(3) The BBVA Compass Bowl in Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama

Here is where it starts to get a little thin. Notre Dame would be taking one of the SEC’s spots in this game, and I have us taking on Rutgers. What makes this bowl attractive is that it takes place on January 4, and is one of the last three bowl games played. No other games are held that day, so coverage of the game and the game itself could dominate ESPN for 12-plus hours. The location is abysmal. Being from the Southeast, I can attest to the fact that Notre Dame is not greatly loved there, but it would be a great chance for bringing the Notre Dame brand to the fertile Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama recruiting grounds.

(4) The AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana

Last but not least is the legendary AdvoCare V100 bowl. Who has not dreamed of playing postseason football in Shreveport, Louisiana? This is another situation where Notre Dame would take one of the SEC’s slots. This time, however, I have them playing Pittsburgh. A healthy Notre Dame, at full strength with an unsuspended Stephon Tuitt, would give the team a chance to redeem itself. There isn’t anything incredibly attractive about this game. The location is not great, the opponent is one that the Irish have played before and the timing leaves a lot to be desired. The game is the same day as the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which should feature Miami against Georgia. Sadly, there is no way that round two of ND vs. Pittsburgh could compete with that matchup. The great thing about this game is that it is a bowl game. That is about all that can be said for it.

With any luck, the Irish will be returning to Yankee Stadium, but if they don’t, well, let’s just say that spending the holidays at your uncle’s might not be the worst thing in the world.

John McMackin is a sophomore history and theology major living in Keenan Hall. His least favorite building on campus is the Radiation building. I mean, come on! I could have designed that! John can be reached at