Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Central Michigan football team got back to work this week in preparation for its date with Wyoming in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise on Dec. 22.
NCAA football teams are entitled to 15 practice sessions leading up to a bowl game. The Chippewas, who are scheduled to leave Mount Pleasant on Monday, Dec. 18, will be making their fourth consecutive bowl appearance and third under coach John Bonamego.
Two years ago, CMU played in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, losing to Minnesota, 21-14; last year, the it fell in the Miami Beach Bowl to Tulsa, 55-10.
Bonamego said that the organization of bowl preparation, and the approach by the coaching staff, evolves from year to year.
"More in terms of how practices are segmented, what we're going to emphasize, how much off time versus work time," he said of the difference in CMU's approach now as opposed to last year or even the year before. "I look at that every year, in terms of who goes to the bowl game and who stays (home).
"You're trying to find the right combination of getting your work done, but not overworking them and I think you could underwork them too."
The Chippewas, like every other team headed to a bowl game, have final exams approaching and Bonamego said he will give his players ample time off from practice and meetings for exams.
Bonamego said CMU won't take as many players to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl as it did last year to Miami. Those who won't make the trip are those who have encountered academic issues, discipline issues, or have suffered season-ending injuries.
"I feel bad about it because nobody wants to be hurt, but those guys will truly be better off at rehab facilities at home," he said. "I want to make sure everyone who's going on the trip is engaged with actually going out there to prepare to win a game. I don't want guys there just for vacation. Yeah it's a reward it should be a good time, it's a business trip, were on a mission we have a job to do."
Invite for Ostman
Senior defensive end Joe Ostman has accepted an invitation to play in the 93rd East-West Shrine All-Star Game on Jan. 20 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Ostman, who hails from Mackinaw City, is a three-time All-Mid-American Conference selection who ranks third nationally with 12 sacks, the second-highest total in program history.
Ostman's 1.20 sacks per game leads the nation. He enters the bowl game No. 2 in CMU history with 26 career sacks.
With temperatures around freezing, the Chippewas are holding practices this week in the turf bay at the Indoor Athletic Complex rather than outside at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
The average high temperature in Boise on late December is 37 degrees, not a major difference than the weather at that time of year in Michigan.