Wait is over: Cougs are nationally ranked

WASHINGTON STATE is ranked No. 23 in the land this morning in the Coaches Poll (WSU’s first appearance there since finishing the 2003 season at No. 9) and No. 24 in The Associated Press (the first time there since one-week stay in 2006).

The Cougars received 155 votes in the Coaches Poll, up from 20 last week, to just edge by USC, which is No. 24. The team directly in front of the Cougars at No. 22 is one WSU beat on the road last month: Oregon.

Stanford (15) and Utah (18) are the highest-ranked Pac-12 teams.

The top five breaks down this way: 1) Clemson; 2) Ohio State; 3) Alabama; 4) Oklahoma State; and 5) Notre Dame.

In the AP poll, the Cougs received 167 votes, putting them well ahead of No. 25 Ole Miss and just three votes back of No. 23 Oregon. AP has USC at 22, Utah at 18 and Stanford at 15. AP's top five is the same as the Coaches Poll.

MEANWHILE, IN ESPN.COM’S WEEKLY Pac-12 Power Rankings, the Cougars have climbed two spots from a week ago, into No. 3 behind Stanford and USC.

Writes Kevin Gemmell of ESPN, “The Cougar are 7-2 since losing to Portland State in the season opener and are off to their best start since 2003. The days of “you-know-what-ing” it are long gone. This team knows how to finish. A nine-win season is very possible.”

The Cougars also received kudos from another ESPN.com scribe. Chantel Jennings handled the site’s weekly “tip of the cap to three players from the Pac-12 who stood out,” and WSU junior receiver Gabe Marks was one of ‘em.

Writes Jennings, “The junior, who has become quarterback Luke Falk’s safety net this season, caught the game-winning touchdown over UCLA with three seconds remaining. He finished the day with two touchdowns and 92 yards on 12 receptions.”

In the process, Marks broke Michael Bumpus’ WSU record for career receptions. Marks started the day trailing by three, at 192, and now is the only Cougar in history to eclipse the 200-catch mark.

Marks’ notables don’t end there. His two TD passes in the game upped his season total to 13, tying him with Jason Hill (2005) for most in a single-season at WSU. His career total now stands at 22 – fourth-most in Cougar history.

Marks wasn’t the only Cougar wideout rewriting the record book. Senior Dom Williams caught his 28th career TD pass, putting him within four of Hill, the all-time WSU leader. Williams is now tied for 11th on the Pac-12’s all-time TD receptions list.



Cougfan Top Stories