Sporting News predicts bowl destination for Washington State

WASHINGTON STATE will go bowling in 2016, Sporting News predicts, as have most of the national media this offseason. But SN goes further, predicting the actual bowl game. Where does SN say the Cougars will wind up?

El Paso.

Sporting News predicts Washington State will make back-to-back appearances in the Sun Bowl, this time taking on Louisville after beating Miami last year.  You can read the full bowl game prediction list HERE.  

It used to be bowls did everything they could to avoid repeat customers. Bowls also used to covet schools that would travel well. And the selection committees used to generally hold to the Pac-12 standings in the selection process -- a team with six conference wins would be selected before a five-win team, for example.  That kind of thinking, however, is now dead. 

With ESPN televising virtually every bowl game, all other considerations are now trumped by one thing: projected TV ratings. 

The only way for a Pac-12 team to guarantee its bowl destination is to a) win the conference or b) finish second in the conference AND by at least two wins in the league standings. In a nutshell, the Pac-12 bowl selection process goes like this:

The Pac-12 champion, if not selected for the playoff, goes to the Rose Bowl (provided the Rose Bowl isn't hosting a CFP semifinal game; it's next up in the rotation for the 2017 season). The conference's three tier one bowls -- Alamo, Holiday, Foster Farms -- have the right to move down and select a team in the conference standings with one less win. And as Cougar fans saw last year, they will do so. The Sun, Las Vegas and Cactus bowls are then contractually bound to select from the remaining pool of teams in order of league records.

SPORTING NEWS also recently named Washington State with the second-best receiving corps in the Pac-12.

"(Gabe) Marks has great hands and excellent route running skills. He is not alone. River Cracraft is a phenomenal receiver. He was hurt in early November and did not play the rest of the season. He still managed a respectable 53 catches and 655 yards. Robert Lewis garnered 43 catches and 490 yards as a sophomore. The Cougars' roster lists 15 receivers. There is no shortage of weapons at Washington State," says SN.

Sporting News ranks USC No. 1 in its wide receiver rankings, followed by Washington State, Stanford, Oregon, UCLA, UW, Arizona, Utah, Oregon State, ASU, Cal and Colorado. You can read the article HERE.

WSU 2016 football schedule

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