ESPN pegs WSU No. 4 in Pac-12 Power Ranking

WASHINGTON STATE's first back-to-back Pac-12 wins in far too long are convincing people the 2015 Cougars are for real. First, the Coaches Poll came out this morning and the Cougars appeared in the "others receiving votes" category, effectively tying them for No. 34 in the nation. Then, ESPN.com's Kevin Gemmell published his new Pac-12 Power Rankings.

And right there at No. 4, behind Utah, Stanford and Cal sit the WSU Cougars.

"No, this isn’t a misprint," Gemmell said. "Why not the Cougs? Everyone ahead of them from last week lost and they dominated a team they were supposed to dominate. They have enough of a run game to make the Air Raid that much more efficient, and the defense, although still not elite, is at least forcing turnovers. Tough to make an argument for anyone behind them."

For the record Gemmell rounds out his list, in order from 5 through 12, this way: Oregon, ASU, Arizona, Washington, UCLA, USC, Colorado and Oregon State.

Gemmell also gave one of his three Pac-12 "tip of the cap" honors to Cougar receiver Dom Williams, saying:

"It feels like we could give a helmet sticker to WSU quarterback Luke Falk every week as he continues to grow in the Air Raid offense. But we should also salute the guys catching his touchdowns, and Williams set career highs with 11 catches for 158 yards in Washington State's 52-31 win over Oregon State. Williams also hauled in two scores -- the 24th and 25th receiving touchdowns of his career."

Meanwhile, Gemmell's ESPN.com colleague Kyle Bonagura has elevated the Cougs from a projected at-large bowl invitation last week to the Sun Bowl this week. As reported earlier today on CF.C, CBSsports.com is now predicting a WSU-Western Kentucky match up in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

The Hilltoppers, by the way, are one of four teams the Cougars are tied with at No. 34 in the new Coaches Poll. The other three are Oregon, Illinois and Utah State.

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