The season’s first College Football Playoff rankings are out and, to the astonishment of the known sports world, the Washington State Cougars are eighth. WSU at 7-1 has its highest ranking ever in the five-year history of the format, produced by a selection committee.
The Cougars a year ago were ranked as high as 14h before losing the Apple Cup. The weekly Associated Press poll had the Cougars 10th and the coaches poll 11th after WSU’s dramatic 41-38 win over Stanford Saturday — the third consecutive triumph over the Cardinal.
The Cougars are the Pac-12 Conference’s only single-loss team. The only other Pac-12 team in the CFP rankings is 6-2 Utah at 15th.
The Cougars host Cal (5-3) at 7:45 p.m. Saturday (ESPN), then go on the road to Colorado (5-3), back home against Arizona (4-5) and finish in Pullman with the Apple Cup against Washington. The 6-3 Huskies fell out of the polls with their 12-10 loss Saturday in Berkeley against Cal.
Should the Cougars win out, their chances at selection for the four-team playoff will be hurt by the three non-conference wins over lightweights Wyoming, San Jose State and Eastern Washington.
The first CFB playoff top 25: