Your Washington State Cougars sit at 5-2 seven games into the 2015 season. With five more to go and four looking like winnable games to some degree, the Cougs have started to make an appearance in an awful lot of postseason bowl projections. Hell, all of them basically.
In 2013 when the Cougs went to the New Mexico Bowl, it took some lobbying from Bill Moos and company to get them there as the Pac-12 had more teams eligible than bowl tie-ins. If things continue on this pace in 2015, WSU should automatically qualify for a bowl game. Man, that's pretty neato, isn't it?
As for where the prognosticators think the Cougs will end up, lets take a look at four projections. If you're a fan of delicious Mexican food or gambling, I think you'll like the answers.
SB Nation: Las Vegas Bowl, Dec. 19th, 12:30 p.m. on ABC
At the mothership, Jason Kirk and company have Washington State projected as the 6th best team in the conference once things are wrapped up at the end of the regular season. That finish would set the Cougs up for their first trip to Las Vegas since playing UNLV in 2012 and on course for a collision with the Mountain West's best team, the Boise State Broncos. Those two teams will play each other in non-conference play in Boise next season and back in Pullman in 2017 which means we could be seeing a whole lot of obnoxiously blue uniforms for the next three years.
Also, someone call Alaska and Delta and warn them: we need all the extra liquor we can get.
ESPN: Sun Bowl, Dec. 26th, 11 a.m. on CBS or Las Vegas Bowl
Mark Schlabach and Brett McMurphy team up on ESPN's bowl projections and they have the Cougs landing in two different spots. Schlabach follows suit with SB Nation, slotting the Cougs in the Las Vegas Bowl but against the Brigham Young Cougars (editor's note: Go Cougs is OUR thing. You can't have it!). McMurphy is a little more bullish on the Cougs though, putting them in the Sun Bowl in El Paso against the Pittsburgh Panthers. A Sun Bowl appearance would make WSU the No. 5 team in the Pac-12.
CBS: Sun Bowl
Jerry Palm handles the bowl projections for CBS and he's inclined to agree with Brett McMurphy on the Cougs' postseason landing spot. That's even with the Stanford Cardinal missing the college football playoff (more on that in a bit) so Palm seems to be really confident in the Cougs.
Their projected opponent: the Louisville Cardinals. I hope this Petrino brother is better at shaking hands.
Bleacher Report: Poinsettia Bowl, Dec. 23rd, 1:30 p.m. on ESPN
This projection from Bryan Fischer is the only one that doesn't put the Cougs in Vegas or El Paso. The bowl's tie-ins are with the Mountain West and Army so Fischer is projecting the Black Knights won't be making the trip west for the holidays and the Cougs will be filling in. Fischer believe the Cougs would be playing Boise State in this game.
Las Vegas Bowl: SB Nation and ESPN
Sun Bowl: CBS and ESPN
Poinsettia Bowl: Bleacher Report
Now for the "more on that in a bit" part: every projection except for CBS puts the Stanford Cardinal in the CFP which is important in terms of where the Cougs will land. If Stanford wins the Pac-12 title AND gets into the CFP, the loser of the conference championship would go to the Rose Bowl, helping open up another Pac-12 bowl. If Stanford doesn't go to the playoff, it means they probably lost somewhere along the way (hopefully this weekend) which could leave the Cougs scrambling again if they finish 6-6. But with 40 (!) bowl games not including the playoff, the Cougs would be able to find a home.