USATodaySports/Lee

One newspaper's love/hate relationship with the 2015 Cougs

THE NATIONAL PUNDITRY, it's safe to say even with three Cougar games left, missed the boat (badly) on Washington State this season. And it wasn't until the win at UCLA in Week 10 for many to truly become believers. Take USA Today for example.

USA Today ranked Washington State 84th nationally in the FBS to start the season (128 teams).

In its weekly "re-rank" after the Cougs' loss to PSU in the opener, the paper dropped WSU a whopping 30 spots, all the way down to 114th.

Put another way, USA Today said there were only 14 teams in all the land that were worse than the Cougs after Week One. Ouch.

But fast forward and the newspaper has completely changed their view on Washington State (7-3, 5-2) headed into Saturday night's tilt against Colorado (7:45, ESPN 2). 

USA Today slotted the Cougs No. 21 nationally this week.

That's a surge of 93 spots since Week One. It also represents the biggest climb in the nation this season in the USA Today metric.

USA Today also has a panel of seven staff writers who pick the top 25 games each week.

When WSU played No. 8 Stanford, Dan Wolfken was the only one of the group who picked the Cougs and came a 43-yard field goal away from being proven right. At No. 18 UCLA, George Schroeder was the only one of the seven who (correctly) picked the Cougs.

And this week? What does the seven-member panel think about WSU-Colorado?

USA Today picks

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