WSU kicks off bowl practices Saturday

THE COUGS may not know where they’re bowling yet but that won’t stop Washington State from holding the first of many bowl practices beginning on Saturday. And while Saturday’s session is expected to focus on the youth rather than starters, key contributors or game plan, it’s still one of the most important bowl practices.

That’s because there are six known recruits in town this weekend on official visits -- and what better sight to see than the Cougs getting after it on the practice turf and kicking off their bowl game prep.

True,  there are a lot of other factors that go into a verbal commitment, and a bowl practice probably isn't going to be the most important one. But it can be a key ancillary factor.

And the chances for official visitors to see WSU and other schools in bowl practices are limited. After next weekend’s official visits, schools can’t officially host prospects again on campus until after the holidays and final bowl games in mid-January. 

THERE IS AN oft-repeated myth surrounding bowl practices. Media and even head coaches over the years have often referred to the inherent value of getting those “15” bowl practices.

And they are valuable. But that number, 15, has never been true.

The practice restriction for bowl teams is the same as it is during the regular season -- 20 hours of practice time per week. There is no restriction on the number of practices that can be held and there never has been per the NCAA.

Now, it usually works out and for a variety of reasons, to somewhere around 15 practices on average, so that might be where the confusion comes from.

THE BOWL GAME PRACTICES are often equated to having another spring session for schools. Bill Moos in the past has said a fifth-year senior who goes to a bowl game every year essentially has an entire extra year of practice to get better because of bowl preparations and the bowl games themselves.

The majority of WSU’s early bowl game practices this month, if history is any guide under Mike Leach, are expected to focus primarily on the youth.

The bowl game pairings are to be announced Sunday.

WSU has not released bowl practice details, we’ll let you know when it does.

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