Cougs poised for poll bounce with win

IF WASHINGTON STATE does what oddsmakers expect and bests Colorado on Saturday (15-point favorite, 7:45 p.m., ESPN2) the Cougs are guaranteed to climb a couple rungs in the AP poll. But depending on how things play out across college football on Saturday, No. 24 WSU could well move higher in the poll.

With a win Saturday, WSU will climb at least two spots in the AP poll as two teams just ahead of it in the poll are going to lose -- it's guaranteed.

No. 22 USC is at No. 23 Oregon, and No. 20 Northwestern travels to No. 21 Wisconsin.

No. 19 Navy should handle Tulsa (12-point favorite).

But No. 18 Utah could lose to UCLA (Utah at home is just a 2-point favorite). If the Bruins win, it’s highly unlikely voters would slot UCLA above a Wazzu squad that just beat them in their own house.

No. 17 LSU is reeling having lost two straight, tumbled out of the CFP conversation and now travels to No. 25 Ole Miss. But an Ole Miss win doesn’t help the Cougs. If the Rebels win, LSU will likely fall below the Cougs but Ole Miss is likely to jump over WSU, so it would be a zero-sum gain.

No. 16 FSU figures to roll FCS opponent Chattanooga (no point spread, although it should be noted the Mocs are 8-2 and headed to the FCS playoffs).

The next three teams in the AP poll are all favored. But if any are upset, a drop of up to eight spots in the poll is certainly possible, which could result in WSU leapfrogging over them (provided they beat Colorado, of course).  The three matchups:

No. 15 Stanford vs. Cal (Card an 11-point favorite).
No. 14 Michigan vs. Penn State (Wolverines favored by four).
No. 13 Houston vs. UConn (No line with UH QB injury status still unknown).

In the Coaches’ poll, WSU is rated No. 23 but sandwiched between No. 22 Oregon and No. 24 USC.  Either the Ducks or Trojans with a win might well climb over WSU here. Apart from that, the rest of the poll participant scenarios listed above featuring the AP poll apply.

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