New Mexico Bowl 2013: Washington State, Colorado State is the matchup

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Cougs are bowling for the first time since 2003.

The drought is over for Washington State. The Cougars are headed to the New Mexico Bow to face the Colorado State Rams, the first postseason trip for the program since a 2003 Holiday Bowl win over Texas, according to ESPN.

There won't be a lot of time to prepare for the Rams, with the New Mexico Bowl kicking off bowl season on Dec. 21 at 11 a.m. PST on ESPN.

This year was expected to be another losing one at WSU, as even Bill Moos hedged expectations. It was looking to be headed that way, too, after a blowout loss to Arizona State left the Cougars at 4-5 and needing two wins in their final three games.

But Mike Leach's group rallied, and came off a bye to stun Arizona with a late touchdown and defensive stop to get that fifth win. The next week, WSU jumped on Utah early to grab its first and only Pac-12 home win.

That ensured Washington State would finish the season bowl eligible for the first time since 2006. The Cougs were left out of the postseason that year, and there was worry the same would happen this time around. Even with 35 bowls, there were more teams eligible than spots. Compounding the issue, there were nine Pac-12 teams for only seven bowl tie-ins.

This time around, WSU had Moos and Leach in their corner, and the Cougars will be moving on to a bowl game for the first time in 10 years.

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