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WSU Cougars open 2019 season ranked No. 23 by AP

It’s just the fourth time in program history the Cougs have appeared in the preseason poll.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Alamo Bowl - Iowa State v Washington State Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

1 Clemson(52) 1540 vsGeorgia Tech
2 Alabama(10) 1496 vsDuke
3 Georgia 1403 @Vanderbilt
4 Oklahoma 1331 vsHouston
5 Ohio State 1261 vsFlorida Atlantic
6 LSU 1199 vsGeorgia Southern
7 Michigan 1164 vsMiddle Tennessee
8 Florida 1054 vsMiami
9 Notre Dame 1044 @Louisville
10 Texas 1005 vsLouisiana Tech
11 Oregon 860 vs #16Auburn
12 Texas A&M 852 vsTexas State
13 Washington 786 vsEastern Washington
14 Utah 772 @BYU
15 Penn State 651 vsIdaho
16 Auburn 578 vs #11Oregon
17 UCF 410 vsFlorida A&M
18 Michigan State 377 vsTulsa
19 Wisconsin 370 @South Florida
20 Iowa 330 vsMiami (OH)
21 Iowa State 302 vsNorthern Iowa
22 Syracuse 209 @Liberty
23 Washington State 200 vsNew Mexico State
24 Nebraska 154 vsSouth Alabama
25 Stanford 141 vsNorthwestern


WSU’s preseason AP ranking is ...

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Too low
    (114 votes)
  • 8%
    Too high
    (29 votes)
  • 58%
    Just right
    (199 votes)
342 votes total Vote Now