Nov. 20, 2001
PULLMAN, Wash. -- - Washington State University has accepted a contingent invitation to play in the Wells Fargo Sun Bowl if the Cougars are not selected for a Bowl Championship Series game (Fiesta Bowl) or the Holiday Bowl.
"The chance for having a team in the Wells Fargo Sun Bowl with a 9-2 record and that is as highly ranked as Washington State excites the football committee," said John H. Folmer, Sun Bowl Football Committee Chairman. "This would be the first-ever appearance in the Sun Bowl for Washington State, and we would be happy to have Cougar fans in El Paso for the first time."
WSU and Sun Bowl officials cannot sign an agreement until the Cougars have been released by the BCS. Currently WSU is on the BCS list and under consideration for the Fiesta Bowl and Holiday Bowl, depending on the results of several key games over the next two weeks.
"Washington State's football program, including our players and coaches, would love to go to the Sun Bowl," said Mike Price, Washington State head coach. "We are extremely excited and look forward to the opportunity. Our players deserve to play in a bowl game of the Sun Bowl's status and prestige. I've heard from many sources the Sun Bowl does a fabulous job of entertaining the players and coaches. We are grateful the Sun Bowl has made this offer that allows us to be involved in possible BCS plans. This early commitment allows our fans to begin making their bowl plans. This is a great opportunity for our loyal Cougar fans to get together for another exciting New Year's celebration."
The Cougars are ranked 14th in the BCS poll, 15th in the Associated Press Poll and 16th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Washington State's only losses of the season were against Oregon and Washington, which are now ranked No. 5 and No. 11, respectively, in the BCS poll.
"With a 9-2 record, Washington State is excited about its post-season opportunities," said Jim Sterk, WSU Athletics Director. "The Sun Bowl's willingness to make this conditional offer to the Cougars speaks well for our team's performance this season and for our alumni following. The Sun Bowl has a long-standing tradition of providing the teams with a quality experience and we are excited to be in their plans."
The 68th Annual Wells Fargo Sun Bowl, which features teams from the Pac-10 and Big Ten Conferences, is Monday, Dec. 31 at 12:15 p.m. (MST). CBS Sports will broadcast the game for the 34th consecutive year.
WSU officials have indicated they will receive an ample number of Sun Bowl tickets to accommodate all Cougar season ticket holders, donors, students, alumni and fans. Cougar athletic department staff are currently putting the finishing touches on the bowl ticket allocation procedures. An announcement with specific information on ticket sales and travel packages is expected soon.
When announced, the ticket allocation procedures will first be posted on the university's web site at www.bowlgame.wsu.edu. The information will also be available by calling 509-335-2345 and it will be released to the media at the same time.