OKLAHOMA STATE NOTEBOOK

Bowls seen as vital recruiting tool

Postseason appearances also give young players valuable experience
2010-12-29T00:00:00Z 2012-11-30T19:28:42Z Bowls seen as vital recruiting toolPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 29, 2010 12:00 am  • 

SAN ANTONIO - Oklahoma State isn't the Alamo Bowl participant posting billboards all over town.

But its very presence speaks volumes.

OSU is playing in a school-record fifth consecutive bowl.

"The players that we're all chasing, that we're trying to get to come to our school and be a part of our program, they're very aware of the bowl situation," OSU coach Mike Gundy said Tuesday.

Recruiting is one way bowls breed success, Gundy said.

OSU's young players scrimmaged each other the first week after the regular season ended, gaining valuable experience for future years. The extra practice helps even the most veteran players, too.

Defensive coordinator Bill Young called 10-2 OSU's bowl preparation "unbelievable." He said players have "really responded" after losing to rival Oklahoma. Gundy knows all about the bowl process.

As a player, he led OSU to 1987 Sun Bowl and 1988 Holiday Bowl wins. After throwing for 315 yards in the latter, he was named to the Holiday Bowl Hall of Fame.

As a player, assistant or head coach, Gundy been involved in nine of OSU's past 10 bowl games, counting tonight.

"If you can keep a consecutive streak of bowl games going on," he said, "I think it shows where you're heading as a football team. And it certainly helps in recruiting.

"We all know the very most important thing we do is recruit good people and good players. It makes our job a lot easier."

Same routine

Oklahoma State and the UA play in Stillwater next year and Tucson in 2012, but both coaches said they wouldn't limit their schemes tonight to save a surprise for the next meeting.

The players will be different next year, anyway, Gundy said.

"There will be plays that look the same, but it's based on who's rushing the passer, who's playing safety and how well that linebacker runs. ..." Gundy said. "Personnel is a much bigger issue than the schemes."

Extra points

• Asked to speak about his players at Tuesday's fan luncheon, Gundy skipped quarterback Brandon Weeden, who will consider leaving for the NFL draft after his junior season.

"I'll talk about him next year," he joked.

• Neither Gundy nor UA coach Mike Stoops seemed fazed by the 8:15 p.m. San Antonio time start. The Wildcats "play a lot of late games" anyway, Stoops said.

Some streak

OSU will play in its fifth straight bowl today, a school record. Here's how it fared:

Season Game Score

2009 Cotton Bowl Mississippi 21, Oklahoma State 7

2008 Holiday Bowl Oregon 42, Oklahoma State 31

2007 Insight Bowl Oklahoma State 49, Indiana 33

2006 Independence Bowl Oklahoma State 34, Alabama 31

By the numbers

8

Bowls reached by OSU in nine seasons

21

Tonight will be the Cowboys' 21st bowl.

60 percent

The Cowboys have won 60 percent of their bowls, the best mark in the Big 12.

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