After a modest gain in last week’s College Football Playoff rankings — initially No. 25, then up to No. 23 last week — Washington State makes an even smaller jump to No. 22 through 11 weeks, it was announced Tuesday night.
Washington State followed up their 69-7 blasting of Arizona two weeks ago with an impressive, thoroughly dominant 56-21 win against a better, but still vastly over-matched Cal team in Martin Stadium last week.
With the win, the Cougars increased their winning streak to eight games, moving to 8-2 overall and 7-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time in school history. However, the College Football Playoff committee seems to still be sleeping on these Cougs, who sit atop the Pac-12 North with a one-game lead thanks to Washington’s loss to USC in Seattle.
Washington stumbled back two spots to No. 6 in the week’s rankings, while USC — which leapfrogged WSU last week, going from unranked to No. 20 — vaulted up seven spots to No. 13. Utah bounced back with a road win over Arizona State, which moved them up to No. 12 this week, and Stanford debuts at No. 24 after three straight wins.
And that brings us to this week’s opponent: Colorado, who checks in at No. 10 ahead of a ranked showdown in Boulder. The Buffs, who enter this weekend’s contest at 8-2 and 7-1 in Pac-12 play, present an opportunity for WSU to finally make a statement against a quality opponent and shake off the FCS cobwebs that the committee — and a lot of other voters on the national scene — can’t get over.
Believe it or not, should WSU run the table and end the regular season at 11-2, which would include wins over Colorado, Washington and whomever they would face in the Pac-12 Championship Game, they would still have a 40 percent chance of making the College Football Playoff, according to FiveThirtyEight’s nifty prediction graphic.
Of course, that would require some a serious chaos at the top of the CFP rankings, which was announced as: 1. Alabama, 2. Ohio State, 3. Michigan, 4. Clemson, 5. Louisville and 6. Washington.
What are your thoughts on this week’s rankings?