For the second time in three years — and just the fourth time ever — the Washington State Cougars will begin a football season ranked by the Associated Press, as they check in at No. 23 to open 2019, it was revealed today.
WSU is one of five Pac-12 teams to begin the season ranked, joining the Oregon Ducks (No. 11), Washington Huskies (No. 13), Utah Utes (No. 14) and Stanford Cardinal (No. 25). Noticeably absent are the USC Trojans, who begin a season unranked for the first time since 2001. They “ranked” No. 45 if you count the single point they picked up in the “others receiving votes” category — same as the Arizona Wildcats. The Arizona State Sun Devils also picked up a few points to check in at No. 44.
The Clemson Tigers beat out the Alabama Crimson Tide for the top spot, picking up 52 of the 62 first place votes.
Before 2017 (No. 24) and 2019, WSU appeared in the preseason poll in 2002 (No. 11) and 1952 (No. 15). That it’s happened now twice in three years underscores the incredible job Mike Leach has done building the program.
Once upon a time, the loss of the Pac-12 player of the year on offense and multiple leaders on defense would have signaled a rebuild; instead, voters now put their faith in Leach — who has led the Cougs to four consecutive bowl games — to have suitable replacements lined up for another strong season.
For real: The Cougs are ranked No. 23 and none of these voters knew who the QB would be. That’s incredible.
2019 AP Poll - Preseason
|5||Ohio State||1261||vsFlorida Atlantic|
|12||Texas A&M||852||vsTexas State|
|21||Iowa State||302||vsNorthern Iowa|
|23||Washington State||200||vsNew Mexico State|
WSU’s preseason AP ranking is ...
This poll is closed