The Cougar football team may not have finished the 2015 season in the Top 25, but Sports Illustrated certainly likes them in there to begin 2016.
Washington State checked in at No. 25 on SI's way-too-early Top 25 rankings, posted on Tuesday morning. The Cougars finished the 2015 season with a 9-4 mark, highlighted by road victories over Oregon and UCLA. The season was capped off with a thrilling win over Miami in the Sun Bowl.
And looking ahead to next season, there's plenty of reasons to be excited about the team from Pullman, SI writes.
"After passing for 4,561 yards (1,192 of them to Gabe Marks), Luke Falk and Marks both return to Pullman to give Washington State a loaded aerial attack once again," SI's Colin Becht wrote. "No. 2 target Dom Williams is gone, but River Cracraft and Robert Lewis leave no shortage of receiving options.
"The Cougars’ defense wasn’t exceptional in 2015, but it improved by 0.6 yards allowed per play. Several of the key playmakers from that group are back, including top tackler Peyton Pelluer, Hercules Mata’afa (seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss) and Shalom Luani (90 tackles, team-high four interceptions)."
To check out the full article from SI, head here.