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Holiday Bowl 2016: It’s gameday!

At 4 p.m. PST on ESPN, WSU and Minnesota will battle it out for all the, uh, National Fundings(?)

NCAA Football: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, WSU will take on Minnesota in the National Funding Holiday Bowl. But before that could happen, the two programs had to get together for the typical bowl week pregame fun.

First, there was a luncheon! The teams, coaches, bands and various dignitaries got together, and a good time was presumably had by all.

Somewhere in there, Mike Leach had a press conference, during which he talked about a number of things, including the similarities between rap and country music, and ... oh yeah, whether Luke Falk is going to head to the NFL after his junior season:

That band performance was just a short preview of what was to come, as a "battle of the bands" was on tap for last night.

Now that you’re done watching all that fun, here are your gameday links.

Preparations underway for annual Holiday Bowl Game: Washington State Cougars VS. Minnesota Gophers - CW6 San Diego

A salute to the 12 Cougars who bid farewell after the Holiday Bowl vs. Minnesota - Washington State - Scout
IT'S A SMALL SENIOR CLASS at Washington State who will don the crimson and gray for the final time on Tuesday in the Holiday Bowl -- 12 to be precise. But there are some big shoes to fill in 2017.

Mike Leach: It's 100 percent selfish when guys don't play in bowl games; prefers Sorenson answer to Marks when it comes to the zoo - Washington State - Scout
SAN DIEGO - Mike Leach on Monday scoffed at the suggestion the college football playoff has diminished the other bowl games. Leach was also squarely at odds with players opting to sit out bowls to get a jump on NFL draft preparations. He also quipped that Cody O'Connell might get more playing time against Minnesota than Gabe Marks because of their comments made during the team's visit to the San Diego Zoo.

National Funding Holiday Bowl Preview: Washington State Cougars - CBSSports.com
In what can only be described a tumultuous few weeks for the Minnesota Gopher football team, the squad is prepping themselves to meet the Washington State Cougars

Holiday Bowl predictions: WSU celebs & CF.C staff - Washington State - Scout
THE ISSUES OFF the field will be a big factor in the bowl game. That’s the consensus for our panel of WSU celebrities and CF.C staff in sizing up the WSU-Minnesota matchup in the Holiday Bowl on Tuesday (4 pm, ESPN).

Huard: Unfinished business for Washington State's Luke Falk should bring him back next season
There has been speculation that Luke Falk may enter the NFL Draft after Tuesday's Holiday Bowl, but after visiting WSU, Brock Huard doesn't think he's leaving Pullman just yet.

Washington State QB Luke Falk: From walk-on to prolific passer - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Holiday Bowl Preview and Prediction: Minnesota vs. Washington State
The 2016 National Funding Holiday Bowl: Its the bowl game that almost wasnt. Or, at least, the 39th edition of the San Diego-hosted contest almost...

Criminal charges are still possible in Gophers football scandal - StarTribune.com
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is reviewing both the Minneapolis Police and U investigations and will decide what to do next by the end of next week.

Gophers QB Leidner aims to close career on high note - StarTribune.com
SAN DIEGO – After four up-and-down years as a Gophers quarterback, Mitch Leidner still has the chance to ride off into the sunset a winner.

For Gophers football: A bowl game; then what? - StarTribune.com

Petition wants coach Tracy Claeys fired for his response to Minnesota players' boycott
A MoveOn.com petition, which had garnered more than 400 signatures by Monday afternoon, called for Minnesota to fire football coach Tracy Claeys for his response to a recent player boycott.

Holiday Bowl overshadowed by Gophers' off-field issues
More than 400 teachers, parents and University of Minnesota alumni are calling for UMN Gophers football coach Tracy Claeys to be fired, according to a petition released Monday afternoon.