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WSU placed 7th in Pac-12 post-spring power rankings

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One set of pundits has the Cougs a bit of the way down in the conference pecking order.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. As the sun dawns on the Pacific Northwest, and Mike Leach has presumably shed his "Trump 2016" pin for a, well, whatever he sleeps in, we resume the football talk. The website collegefootballnews.com has long been a favorite of mine, mostly because that's all you get on their website, all football, all the time. Now that spring practices have concluded throughout the land, they've begun to post some of everyone's favorite things to read and get pretend-outraged about.

That's right, they're publishing power rankings for each conference. This week, it was the Pac-12's turn. Now, I've always respected that website, mostly because they're dedicated to thorough analysis of my favorite sport. Pete Fiutak is a really thoughtful and funny writer. However, it seems like somebody just looked at the composite standings over the last few seasons and listed the teams accordingly.

They pegged WSU at seventh in the conference. While most of us think WSU is a much better team than that, their 9-4 season in 2015 is a pretty big outlier in relation to the last decade, so a ranking that far back doesn't seem that unfair. Here is what they have to say about WSU:

After a breakthrough season, the offense should continue to be fantastic with Luke Falk growing into a stronger pro prospect quarterback. The D will be more than just an afterthought, but it’ll hardly be a rock – the offense will have to bomb its way to wins.

That seems nice enough, but it also seems a bit shallow. The top four-ranked teams in the conference are, in order: UCLA, Oregon, USC and Stanford. Second verse, same as the first. While I don't know who will win the Pac-12, I can guarantee you that UCLA will not.

That said, we haven't even entered summer, also known as the season of arrests and suspensions. For that reason, and many others, I can't pretend to feign outrage. Do I think they undervalued WSU? Hell yes I do. But like a formerly-funny now-terrible ESPN announcer is fond of saying, that's why they play the games.

Football

Post-Spring Pac-12 Football Rankings 2016 | College Football News
Going into the summer, welcome to the post-spring football rankings for all the Pac-12 teams.

The Pirate cometh: Mike Leach, Washington State land 4-star WR commit Isaiah Hodgins | | USA Today High School Sports
In the end, Washington State appears to have won out thanks both to Leach’s system and his comfort in knowing he’ll be a key piece in the Cougars offense from Day 1 in Pullman.

Dave Nichol Mic'd Up - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
New WSU assistant Dave Nichol was mic'd up for a spring practice session.

Pac-12 still finding its footing in the Power Five, College Football Playoff - CBSSports.com
While the Pac-12 has many issues from television contracts to voting unanimously in bills, the biggest issue is winning games and getting into the College Football Playoff.

The 2017 NFL Draft: Ranking the top prospects
The league will have some good ones next season, but most of the top talent is young, and a young lineup of quarterbacks doesn’t bode well for the conference in the College Football Playoff race.

Can Pac 12, Larry Scott solve conference's problems?
Unlike in the Big 12, where some parties have continued a full-on freakout since failing to make the College Football Playoff field in 2014, the Pac-12 members have taken a more measured approach after their league missed the playoff in '15. They know how much deeper the conference is than it was five years ago. They also know two years of data aren't enough to identify trends.

Beer

Older craft beer brewers fight for relevance (and shelf space) in a crowded market - MarketWatch
Freshness is a key component to craft beer, even when it comes to branding and marketing. With the nation’s brewery count exceeding 4,200 and craft beer’s novelty giving way to neighborhoods packed with breweries, it requires great effort on the part of older brewers to stand out.

Non-Sports

TV’s Dwindling Middle Class - The New York Times
These days, there are only a handful of workplace taxonomies in scripted television. We’ve got police precincts, crime-and-forensics teams and legal-medical-Beltway dramas. NBC’s "Chicago Med," "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago P.D." are a virtual sexy-calendar night.