Syracuse Hoards Schwartzwalder Trophy Out of Respect to Bowl Hosts

By Mike Atkinson
Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia Mountaineers and the Syracuse Orange will be renewing their rivalry in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, but the winner will not be receiving the coveted Schwartzwalder Trophy.

WVU and Syracuse is a rivalry that has been played consistently since 1955. The Schwartzwalder Trophy was introduced in 1993 and has been awarded to the winner of the game between the Mountaineers and the Orange.

Well, that is until now. See, out of “respect to the bowl hosts,” Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone decided not to put the Schwartzwalder Trophy on the line.

This seems pretty convenient for the Orange, considering that they currently possess the trophy. Syracuse has beaten WVU the last two times the game was played, but trails in the series 11-8.

This is infuriating to me. Why does the team with the trophy have the right to decide whether or not they risk it? Of course they don’t want to risk the trophy. The Orange make it sound as if it’s about the Steinbrenner Trophy, but everyone knows what it’s really about.

If Syracuse risks the Schwartzwalder Trophy, it runs the risk of losing both trophies. Syracuse won the Pinstripe Bowl and the Steinbrenner Trophy last year.

Essentially what’s happening here is Syracuse has kidnapped the trophy. They figured they wouldn’t have to play WVU anymore now that WVU is in the Big 12. Now that they do have to play the Mountaineers again, they won’t risk the trophy.

This is a cowardly act done in a manner to make it appear courageous. This makes the school look as though they are afraid of losing. If they thought they were going to win, they wouldn’t care about risking it and they’d let their play on the field decide who holds the trophy.

Also, saying this is a respectful gesture is preposterous. This is a very disrespectful act. It’s disrespectful to the NCAA, coaches, the Mountaineers, the players, the fans, etc.

The Orange are not even giving the Mountaineers a shot at winning the trophy back. I just don’t see how that could be allowed in the game of college football.

Imagine if national champions could just decide to play the game out of respect to the BCS. The Alabama Crimson Tide could just never risk the trophy again and be champions forever, or at least until they miss a championship game.

This is one of the most ridiculous stories I’ve heard out of college football this season. The trophy is there for a reason. Risk it and make the bowl actually mean something.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his Rant Sports Author Page.

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