Wisconsin and Miami followed much of the same dreary path that started in the warmth of the Orange Bowl and ends with a frigid thud at Yankee Stadium.
The Badgers and Hurricanes were Associated Press top 25 teams when they played last season in the Orange Bowl, a 34-24 victory for No. 6 Wisconsin in a game that seemed to serve as a preview for a better 2018 ahead for both programs.
The similarities kept rolling headed into a dud of a rematch in the Pinstripe Bowl today at 5:15 p.m.: Miami and Wisconsin each opened the season inside the top 10 — the Badgers even received a first-place vote — then both of their seasons unraveled as they became two of the biggest busts in college football.
The Hurricanes (7-5) lost their season opener and dropped four straight in October-November to plummet from contention in the ACC. The Badgers (7-5) never played like national championship contenders and their loss total topped the combined total (4) of 2016 and 2017.
The disappointing duo trudge into one of the coldest bowl games each season with more bad news: the QB spot in flux. N'Kosi Perry (1,089 yards passing, 13 touchdowns) had been the most recent starter and had a rocky season, plus he faced heat for two questionable Snapchat posts — one of them surfacing just a few days ago.
Miami coach Mark Richt said that Malik Rosier will start. Rosier, who started six games this season before he was replaced by Perry, could also yield to backup Jarren Williams for some snaps.
Richt said Perry was not suspended and was available to play. He also said there was a possibility that Williams would play.
"Whoever's at the helm at quarterback, I feel like we can be a productive offensive going into the bowl game," running back DeeJay Dallas said. "I feel like we're in a good spot right now. I feel like the facade of chaos is playing a big impact on the fans and the media. But it's just a facade. I feel like we're in a good space right now and we're poised to take on the Badgers."
The Badgers also have issues with Alex Hornibrook sidelined by a recurrence of concussion symptoms. Hornibrook, a third-year starter, threw four touchdown passes in the Orange Bowl last season. He missed the 31-17 loss at Northwestern on Oct. 27 with a head injury. He returned to start the following week against Rutgers but sat out the second half after his head hit the turf during a sack. Hornibrook then missed the next two games before returning to start the regular-season finale against Minnesota.
Wisconsin will start Jack Coan and his fifth appearance this season means he will burn his eligibility to take a redshirt year.
Here are a few more things to watch in the Pinstripe Bowl:
• Manny Diaz will serve as Miami's defensive coordinator for one final game before he leaves to be the new head coach at Temple. Diaz led a defense that allowed an average of just 268.2 yards per game, the second fewest nationally.
• The kickoff temperature during last year's Pinstripe Bowl was 23 degrees with a wind chill that made it feel like 12 degrees. That's about the norm for late December at Yankee Stadium.