The WSU Cougars will begin the 2016 season just outside the top 25 of both major polls after debuting at 29th in the Associated Press preseason poll on Sunday.
The Cougs had earlier debuted at 30th in the Coaches Poll.
WSU received 68 points, placing them just behind Utah and ahead of the Cougs’ week two opponent, Boise State. The Broncos were a spot ahead of WSU in the Coaches Poll.
Five Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top 25, led by Stanford at No. 8 and followed by Washington (14), UCLA (16), USC (20), and Oregon (24). With the exception of the Trojans, all of those teams are on WSU’s schedule, but only the game against the Cardinal is away from Martin Stadium.
Should the Cougars have a strong showing in the opener against Eastern Washington, there’s a bit of a chance they could sneak into the top 25 for that critical non-conference game in Boise — the loser of No. 22 UNC vs. No. 18 Georgia could drop out, as could USC with a season-opening loss to Alabama. And there’s usually a surprise, along the lines of No. 15 Arizona State dropping out after getting blasted by unranked Texas A&M last season.
Here’s the full top 25 (first place votes in parentheses):
|4||Florida State (5)||0-0||1325|
|6||Ohio State (1)||0-0||1224|
Others receiving votes: Miami 159, Texas A&M 81, Utah 74, Washington State 68, Boise State 49, San Diego State 46, Wisconsin 42, Auburn 22, Pittsburgh 15, Arkansas 14, Texas 12, Nebraska 11, Navy 8, Northwestern 5, Western Kentucky 4, South Florida 2, Toledo 2.