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Washington State in College Football Playoff conversation

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Are the Cougs Contenders?

NCAA Football: Southern California at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

After a huge home win, the Washington State Cougars have risen in the polls and find themselves on the national college football radar going into week six. While far from a likely participant at this stage, pundits are discussing the Cougs as a College Football Playoff contender before Saturday’s game in Eugene.

FiveThirtyEight, ESPN’s stat focused site, released their CFP model Thursday, and give Washington State a 7 percent chance to make it to the national semifinals. Their model doesn’t pick individual games, but instead tries to predict what the committee will do given the resume’s of each team at the end of the year.

Game by game predictions are left to a combination of ESPN’s football power index and AP rankings. That cocktail doesn’t like the Cougs chances this weekend as the Ducks are 58 percent favorites. If Washington State is able to pull off the road victory their CFP odds go up to 14 percent.

You can play around with the model quite a bit, and see how WSU’s odds change with different results. This probably goes without saying, but if Luke Falk and company run the table in the regular season, there chances to be among the top four teams is 99 percent. Just win, baby.

Obviously it’s early to spend much time speculating on this topic, but it speaks to how far the program has come since 2014.

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