The Washington State Cougars’ position in the Associated Press poll remained unchanged following Saturday night’s 19-13 victory over the California Golden Bears, as they checked in at No. 10 for the second consecutive week.
However, the Cougs did move up to No. 9 in the coaches poll.
There wasn’t a lot of carnage above WSU — the only loss was by the formerly No. 4 LSU Tigers, who were shut out by the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, 29-0 — but that didn’t prevent a substantial amount of movement around them. The West Virginia Mountaineers leapfrogged the Cougs on the strength of their 42-41 win over the Texas Longhorns, moving up five spots to No. 7. Meanwhile, the UCF Knights dropped two spots from No. 9 to No. 11 after winning a shootout with the Temple Owls. LSU, meanwhile, only dropped to No. 9 despite suffering its second loss.
The Cougars are the lowest ranked one-loss Power 5 team, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lot of consensus there; consider how closely bunched slots 7 through 11 are, where only 64 points separate the teams — and only 24 points separate 8 from 11:
Worth pointing out that it’s not exactly a shocker that WSU didn’t move — here’s to betting that it really didn’t matter how many the Cougs beat Cal by, since the game didn’t kick off until most writers had already gone to bed and presumably filled out the broad strokes of their ballot. In this case, that probably wasn’t such a bad thing for WSU.
The only other Pac-12 team to be ranked is the Washington Huskies, who held off the Stanford Cardinal at home for a 27-23 victory. They took advantage of carnage in the bottom 20 percent of the poll to jump back in at No. 20. The Utah Utes dropped out of the poll after losing by double digits against the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Of course, the only ranking that matters for WSU is the one for the College Football Playoff, and that will be updated on Tuesday. Here’s to guessing that once the committee takes a close look, they won’t be impressed by the result. We shall see.