Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, right, and Iowa State coach Paul...

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, right, and Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads pose for photos during an NCAA college football news conference at Yankee Stadium. (Dec. 7, 2011) Credit: AP

College football at Yankee Stadium could assume a higher profile in the future, Yankees officials said yesterday, with nationally ranked teams competing during the regular season and in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

"We want to make this a real forum for college football," Yankees president Randy Levine said after the official announcement that Rutgers (8-4) would play Iowa State (6-6) in the second annual Pinstripe Bowl Dec. 30. Rutgers finished fourth in the Big East, Iowa State seventh in the Big 12. The teams have been offered practice time at Hofstra's indoor facility and Shuart Stadium under an arrangement made with the Pinstripe Bowl, Hofstra athletic director Jack Hayes said.

Levine has no concerns about the matchup drawing fans, but wants to ratchet up the competition in the future.

"George Steinbrenner loved college football," he said of the late Yankees owner. "His standard was excellence, be the best, nothing else. The idea here is to get big games, teams from all conferences, give people a sampling of all the great teams and to get the best two teams in the Pinstripe Bowl. We are a new bowl, we have a four-year agreement with the Big 12 and Big East. Hopefully, if we continue to perform well at the end of those four years, we can move up the slot to get teams," that finish higher.

Mark Holtzman, a Yankees employee who is executive director of the Pinstripe Bowl, echoed Levine saying, "You want to throw your fastball when you come to Yankee Stadium. This has been a great start, you have to prove yourself."

Syracuse beat Kansas State in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl. "Three days after a snowstorm and we had close to 39,000 in paid attendance," Levine said. "The teams did very well [financially], obviously we made money. We don't divulge how much we make, but we did well. We have a big charitable component from this game, so local kids get tickets and organizations also do well."

Holtzman is expecting about 40,000 for this season's game. Rutgers is treating it like a home game.

"You don't often get an opportunity to play in your backyard," Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti said.

An unspecified number of tickets, purchased by sponsors and donors, Pernetti said, are being made available free to Rutgers students.

"We've never charged a student for a bowl-game ticket and we don't intend to start charging them now," Pernetti said.

Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard said students would receive a discount on tickets and added that half of his school's allotment of 5,000 was already sold.

"I hope they have 50,000 Rutgers fans here," he said. "A hostile environment is better than an empty environment."

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