The Yankees once again didn't have to stray too far from home when handing out invitations to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
A year after the Syracuse Orange came from upstate New York to win the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl over Kansas State, Yankee Stadium will play host as Iowa State takes on nearby Rutgers on Friday, Dec. 30. The Cyclones and Scarlet Knights each accepted bids to the bowl Sunday afternoon.
The two schools have never met on the gridiron. But Rutgers has some recent experience playing at Yankee Stadium, as it beat Army, 27-12, on Nov. 12 -- the school's first game in the Bronx since 1948 and just the third college football game played at the new Yankee Stadium.
"We are excited to feature a neighboring school in Rutgers against an outstanding Big 12 representative in Iowa State for this year's New Era Pinstripe Bowl," said Mark Holtzman, Yankees executive director of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
"This first-ever football matchup between these schools offers each institution's dedicated fans the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with a unique bowl experience in New York City and Yankee Stadium."
The matchup will be just the second bowl game played in the Bronx since Nebraska beat Miami (Fla.), 36-34, in the 1962 Gotham Bowl played at the original Yankee Stadium.
Rutgers, located less than 50 miles away in Piscataway, N.J., also played nine games in the original Yankee Stadium. The Scarlet Knights went 8-4 this season with a 4-3 record in the Big East. This will be the program's seventh bowl game, having gone 4-2 in its previous six appearances.
"It is a terrific situation when you can play your bowl game in the greatest city in the world," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "Getting an opportunity to play in a bowl game hosted by the New York Yankees is a great reward for our players."
Iowa State will make its first appearance in the Bronx coming off a 6-6 season with a 3-6 record in the Big 12. The Cyclones provided one of the college football season's most exciting moments, handing No. 3 Oklahoma State its only loss of the season -- a 37-31 double-overtime decision on Nov. 18.
"We are thrilled to have the chance to extend our season with a bowl trip to New York City," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoades said. "Our team has improved all season and is playing its best football. Every year we start with a goal of winning a bowl game, and we'll have the opportunity in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against an outstanding Rutgers team."
Tickets for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl are on sale now at www.newerapinstripebowl.com. There will be a week of festivities leading up to the game, starting on Tuesday, Dec. 27, when players, coaches and university staff take part in a variety of events.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.