WSU falls out of top 25 polls but still within striking range; Cougs could climb back into final top 25 with bowl game win

WASHINGTON STATE fell out of the Associated Press and Coaches top 25 polls on Sunday, though a bowl win might push the Cougs back into the final iterations at the end of the season. As for the Pac-12 power rankings this week, WSU stayed right where it was last week.

The top five in this week's Pac-12 power rankings are: Colorado, USC, UW, Washington State and Stanford.  Here’s what Kevin Gemmell wrote about Wazzu:

4. Washington State 8-4, 7-2 (No. 4 last week)
What should be remembered about WSU’s 2016 regular season is the fantastic eight-game winning streak in the middle, when the Cougars tore through the likes of Oregon, Stanford and UCLA. Unfortunately, it’s the bookends -- an opening loss to an FCS team and a blowout loss to their rival -- that are more likely to stand out historically. But Mike Leach and Co. deserve heaps of credit for negotiating plenty of distractions this season and getting the team in a position to contend for the division.

In both the Coaches and AP polls released Sunday, the Cougs fell to 29th and outside the top 25.  WSU has lost its last two games after being ranked No. 20 in the polls headed into Colorado. WSU was ranked No. 23 in both polls last week.  

Last season, WSU headed into its bowl game with an 8-4 record (6-3 Pac-12) and seven spots out of both top 25 polls (No. 32).   After its bowl win over Miami, WSU finished the season just outside the AP and Coaches top 25, at 27th and 29th, respectively.

This season, WSU will enter its bowl game with an identical 8-4 record, and with a 7-2 record in Pac-12 play.

CBS' Jerry Palm was predicting on Sunday WSU will play in the Holiday Bowl vs. Minnesota.  Other Sunday prognostications included NBS Sports who have the Cougs in the Foster Farms Bowl vs. Indiana. CF.C analyst Matt Moore is working on his third bowl projection article as you read this.  Here are the Sunday top 25 polls:

Coaches poll

1    Alabama
2    Ohio State   
3    Clemson   
4    Washington   
5    Wisconsin   
6    Michigan   
7    Oklahoma   
8    Penn State   
9    Colorado   
10    Oklahoma State   
11    USC   
12    Florida State   
13    West Virginia   
14    Western Michigan   
15    Louisville   
16    Florida   
17    Stanford   
18    Virginia Tech   
19    Auburn   
20    Navy   
21    LSU   
22    Nebraska   
23    South Florida   
24    Utah   
25    Iowa   
Others receiving votes: Boise State 93, Houston 58, Pittsburgh 56, Washington State 44, Texas A&M 34, Miami 34, Temple 26, Tennessee 23, San Diego State 18, Air Force 12, Georgia Tech 9, North Carolina 9, Minnesota 6, Tulsa 5, Appalachian State 3, Western Kentucky 2, Middle Tennessee 1, Troy 1, Wyoming 1

AP poll

1.  Alabama 
 2.  Ohio  St.
 3.  Clemson
 4.  Washington
 5.  Michigan
 6.  Wisconsin
 7.  Oklahoma  
 8.  Penn  St.
 9.  Colorado 
10.  Southern  Cal
11.  Oklahoma  St.
12.  Florida  St.
13.  W.  Michigan
14.  West  Virginia
15.  Florida
16.  Louisville
17.  Stanford
18.  Auburn
19.  Virginia Tech
20.  Navy
21.  LSU 
22.  Iowa 
23.  Nebraska 
24.  Pittsburgh
24.  South  Florida 
Others receiving votes: Houston 98, Boise St. 92, Utah 88, Washington State 35, Texas A&M 33, Air Force 22, Temple 21, Tennessee 12, Troy 7, Miami 5, Georgia Tech 2, Tulsa 1.

RELATED STORY: What They're Saying, Sour Apples Edition

Cougfan Top Stories