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Washington State ranked 41st in ESPN Football Power Index

The preseason ranking was much more favorable to different team from the state.

William Mancebo/Getty Images

Football season may still be five months away, but that doesn't mean it's too early for a new preseason ranking to be released. On Thursday ESPN unfurled the first edition of the 2016 Football Power Index and the Cougs found themselves in the no. 41 slot. FPI projects WSU to go 7-5 and gives the Cougs a 2.2 percent chance of winning the Pac-12.

This ranking falls in line with S&P+, another team metric, that has WSU as the nation's 48th best team. The Cougs being low in computer rankings isn't exactly new of course, as S&P+ had them ranked lower than the AP and Coaches Polls did last season. It seems that the Cougs' start to the season that featured losses to Portland St. and Cal, and underwhelming wins against weak Wyoming and Rutgers teams were more easily forgotten by human voters than algorithms. If the Cougs are as good as we think they'll be in 2016, I don't think a slow start is something that will be holding them down on Bill C's laptop.

Per FPI, the Cougs will be the eighth best team in the Pac-12 and will finish fourth in the north. The top team in the north you ask? The reigning Heart of Dallas Bowl Champions, Washington Huskies. The Dogs, who have clearly won the offseason, are ranked 13th and are given a 23 percent shot at the Pac-12 title. With those kind of expectations for a 7-6 team, I'm sure nothing will go wrong.

Does WSU finishing fourth in the north sound about right to you? If you could bet the Cougs 50/1 to win the conference how much money would you put down?



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