The Cougars' bowl appearance means WSU coach Mike Leach gets a bonus of $75,000 per the incentive terms laid out in his contract. Leach also gets an extra $25,000 bonus for earning co-Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors.

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Washington State begins practice this week to prep for its Dec. 26 Sun Bowl appearance against Miami.

The Cougars’ bowl appearance means WSU coach Mike Leach gets a bonus of $75,000, per the incentive terms laid out in his contract. Leach also gets an extra $25,000 bonus for earning co-Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors.

Leach’s annual salary is about $2.75 million.

An Apple Cup win would have brought Leach another $25,000 bonus — but he’ll get another crack at that next year.

Leach said Sunday night that he liked the fact that his team was invited to a bowl game in the third week of December instead of one of the early bowl games — such as the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 19 — because this works better with WSU’s finals schedule.

“There’s a huge benefit to us because it won’t interfere with finals,” Leach said. “If we’d played on (Dec) 19 it would be a huge interference with finals. Our finals get done Dec. 18 so obviously that would be a problem. I don’t know whether they would do finals earlier or later. It would be a logistical nightmare.”

Contrary to popular belief, there’s no limit to the number of extra practices a team gets to prepare for its bowl. NCAA rules simply limit practice time to four hours per day, and no more than 20 hours in a given week.

With that in mind, the Cougars will get a week’s more practice time than say, Utah — which plays BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl — would. That’s invaluable to the growth and development of a young squad.

“We’ll definitely get some good work with the young guys and I’m looking forward to that,” Leach said.

Now, some links:

— WSU opened as a three-point favorite over Miami. Let’s see how/whether that evolves over the next few weeks.

— ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg picks the Cougs to beat Miami in the Sun Bowl

— The El Paso Times explains why the Sun Bowl picked WSU over Utah as its Pac-12 representative. Former WSU coach and El Paso resident Mike Price is stoked.

— Here’s SB Nation’s Sun Bowl preview. In case you didn’t hear Bill Moos mention this on Sunday, the Sun Bowl is the second-oldest bowl game in the country behind the Rose Bowl.

— Luke Falk was one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy that’s given to the nation’s top former walk-on, but Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield won the award Monday morning. You really can’t argue with this when you consider that Mayfield walked on and earned starting jobs at two different schools (Texas Tech was the first one), plus he has Oklahoma in the national semifinal game. So, hat tip to Mayfield and the Sooners. How did this guy not get a scholarship out of high school?