Coug recruiting: rankings, history, insights

IS IT JUST ME, or is this the strangest countdown to Signing Day ever? Across the country, and on Planet Coug for sure, this stretch run to LOIs has had more twists and turns (i.e. 18-year-olds changing their minds) than a ride down Lombard Street. It illustrates more than ever why football coaches deserve combat pay.

If you're a grown man well down your career path can you imagine having your fate rest in the hands of a bunch of acne-battling kids who are more worried about the senior prom than your paycheck? Joe Paterno must be pushing 90 and he's still at it. That guy is either saintly or insane.

But then again, all of us have to have a bit of a screw loose to pay so much attention to the decisions being made by people who aren't old enough to drink.

Yet here we are, every year, waiting with baited breath to see who signs and who doesn't. The 10 days around Signing Day represents the busiest period a site such as CF.C will experience all year. It's bigger than the opening week of the season. It's bigger than rivalry week. It's bigger than March Madness.

About the only thing that can even come close would be rumors that the coach of a Rose Bowl-bound team is being wooed by an SEC team that has access to a private plane with Bear Bryant-related serial numbers on the side.

For a sports fan, though, the intrique around it all really is too much to pass up, particularly when the power of cyberspace brings it all to your fingertips.

The speed with which information now moves is downright whiplash inducing. I remember in the early 1990s, when QB Jake Plummer literally changed his mind between LOI Eve and LOI Day -- thus going to Arizona State rather than Washington State -- no one knew publicly about it for hours. Not until ASU issued the standard press release listing the names in its new class did the world know. Today, the news would have been Tweeted, Facebooked and'd within minutes.

We've been writing (and blogging) about recruiting all year long. You've been following it all year long. Who'd we get? Who are the sleepers? Any surprises? How do our guys compare?

CF.C has been aiding and abetting this obsession since August 1998. The Cougar class of recruits that will be unveiled this week will be the 13th that we've covered.

Based on our projections, this crop of new Cougs figures to be rated somewhere between 47th to 57th in the nation. As of this moment, the class is ranked No. 52, just behind Northwestern and ahead of Marshall. In the Pac-12, this Cougar class currently is ranked eighth,, just a tad behind OSU and Utah, a bit in front of ASU and way ahead of UCLA, Arizona and Colorado. Five Pac-12 teams are currently in the top 20 in the nation: USC 5th), Oregon (10th), UW (12th), Cal (15th) and Stanford (20th).

Historically speaking, WSU's class is placed nationally about where it usually is. If you throw out the aberrations at each end -- No. 21 in 2004 and No. 74 in 2008 following the coaching change -- you'll find that the 40s and 50s tend to be crimson country during the first week of February. And for the record, that touted 2004 class turned out to be a bust of seismic proportion, illustrating one more time how this whole thing can be more crapshoot than science.

Indeed, the 1999 WSU class -- while No. 39 nationally -- was rated between eighth and tenth in the Pac-10 by the recruiting services of the day. That class wound up being the backbone for the Cougars' three consecutive 10-win seasons from 2001-03. And that trifecta, by the way, marked the first time a Pac-10 school had strung together three straight 10-win seasons since the 1930s.


• 2010 –- 40th, just behind Arizona and ahead of Georgia Tech
• 2009 –- 43rd, just behind Clemson and ahead of Baylor
• 2008 –- 74th, tied with Vandy, just behind UTEP and ahead of Troy
• 2007 –- 54th, just behind Connecticut and ahead of Kansas State
• 2006 –- 45th, just behind Boston College and ahead of BYU
• 2005 –- 47th, just behind Kansas State and ahead of Georgia Tech
• 2004 –- 21st, just behind North Carolina State and ahead of Washington
• 2003 –- 58th, just behind West Virginia and ahead of BYU
• 2002 – 48th, just behind Illinois and ahead of Oregon State
• 2001 –- Unable to locate
• 2000 –- Unable to locate
• 1999 –- 39th, just behind Kentucky and ahead of Illinois

TO NOTE: As part of CF.C's wall-to-wall LOI Day coverage, WSU recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen will be in our Chat Room tomorrow (Wednesday, LOI Day) from 12:30 to 1 p.m.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, and odds are you may have since articles are coming so fast that they don't stay on our front page for long, but the Cougars nabbed two new verbal commitments in the last 24 hours. Here they are:

Cougfan Top Stories