Sporting News tabs Washington State as its Pac-12 sleeper

SOME WASHINGTON STATE fans love the Cougs being under the radar heading into the season. They’ll like The Sporting News’ take on the 2016 Cougars.

The Sporting News picks Washington State as the Pac-12’s sleeper team.

“Washington has been talked about more this offseason, especially after beating the Cougars 45-10 last season,” says SN. “Washington State, however, has the best pass-catching combination in Luke Falk and Gabe Marks (pictured above).

“The prolific passing and Mike Leach’s personality are added bonuses. The Apple Cup should be fun again.”

You can read TSN’s full entry here.

Washington State has the second-most returning experience in the Pac-12 behind Colorado, according to Phil Steele. His formula comprises senior starters in the two-deeps, followed by the underclassmen, returning letterman percentage, percentage of yards returning, percentage of tackles returning and OL career starts. The rest of the Pac-12 is as follows on Steele’s list: USC, UW, UCLA, Arizona, OSU, Utah, Oregon, Cal, Stanford, ASU.

Meanwhile, WSU ranks No. 1 in the conference and 14th nationally in returning 89.4 percent of its yards from last year (passing, receiving, rushing). The next closest in the Pac-12 is Colorado, at 75.8 percent.

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