BY Art Thiel 05:20PM 11/27/2018

Cougs fall to 13th in CFP rankings; UW 11th

The Apple Cup loss may have dropped the Cougars out of an at-large bid to New Year’s Six bowl. They are 13th in the CFP rankings, two spots behind the Huskies.

The Cougars’ bowl fortunes may have taken a turn. / Art Thiel, Sportspress Northwest

The Cougars’ home loss to Washington Friday in the Apple Cup cost more than dignity and the North Division title. In the College Football Rankings released Tuesday, the Cougars fell from eighth to 13th, or one spot beyond where the New Year’s Six bowls tend to feed.

The final rankings and bowl invitations won’t be known until Selection Sunday, after the final conference championship games are played Friday and Saturday. Some teams ahead of WSU may lose, including the 11th-ranked Huskies, up five spots, who play No. 17 Utah Friday for the Pac-12 championship.

But the loss of five places was the biggest drop in the rankings from last week, and make the Cougs the lowest-ranked two-loss team from a Power 5 conference.

Falling out of the more prestigious top six bowls means accepting a bowl offering less money, putting a small dent in conference’s shared bowl revenues. If the Cougs do finish in the top 12, they will play in either the Fiesta (Phoenix) or Peach (Atlanta).

At the top of the heap, 11-1 Georgia made its way into the No. 4 spot after the previous occupant, Michigan, was blasted 62-39 by Ohio State. The Bulldogs trail three undefeated teams, Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame, and will meet the No. 1 Crimson Tide for the SEC Championship Saturday.

The winner of the Big Ten championship game between Ohio State and Northwestern¬† goes to the Rose Bowl to meet the Utah-Washington winner — unless the Buckeyes advance into the playoff field, which seems unlikely.


1. Alabama (12-0)
2. Clemson (12-0)
3. Notre Dame (12-0)
4. Georgia (11-1)
5. Oklahoma (11-1)
6. Ohio State (11-1)
7. Michigan (10-2)
8. UCF (11-0)
9. Florida (9-3)
10. LSU (9-3)
11. Washington (9-3)
12. Penn State (9-3)
13. Washington State (10-2)
14. Texas (9-3)
15. Kentucky (9-3)
16. West Virginia (8-3)
17. Utah (9-3)
18. Mississippi State (8-4)
19. Texas A&M (8-4)
20. Syracuse (9-3)
21. Northwestern (8-4)
22. Boise State (10-2)
23. Iowa State (7-4)
24. Missouri (8-4)
25. Fresno State (10-2)


  • coug73

    OK. Let’s take the top 16 and play a loser out tournament.

    • art thiel

      See above. How many times would you travel unscheduled to watch the Cougs?

      • coug73

        I’m a poor spectator fan, rarely attend any sporting events. The yelling, screaming, high fives with the occasional chest bump or thumping are not for me.

  • Alan Harrison

    Michigan shouldn’t be 7th after last Saturday, what with 2 losses and all. The whole thing is unfair to “FBS” teams (in quotes because the term connotes parity among all the teams with that designation) like UCF, despite their schedule. 8 teams is fine. With a month of nothing going on until the empty-stadium bowl season, there is plenty of time to do a playoff. But until the NCAA gets a guarantee for trillions of dollars to not pay their talent, NCAAF will continue to transition to become a South/Midwest regional sport. Like NASCAR.

    • art thiel

      The bowl system is so entrenched that the NCAA leadership lacks the guts to diminish it further by expanding playoffs to 8/16 teams. But eventually ESPN, which owns college football, decrees that everyone will make more money with expanded playoffs, things will change.

      Remember that adding rounds of playoffs lengthens the season and diminishes the chances for fans to travel more than once during the holidays.

      • Alan Harrison

        Hear, hear. But only the winners advance – just like NCAAB. Still an issue?

    • rosetta_stoned

      the Pac-12 will have to become the Pac-16 to get any respect from the rest of the country

      They could also avoid going 1-8 in bowl games.

  • jafabian

    Is there any conference that can challenge the SEC? Please?

  • Husky73

    16, 32 and 64 were not enough for the Big Dance. Now, it’s 66 and inevitably there is a team or two that screams “we got screwed” as they move to the NIT. I am much happier with the Huskies playing for a Rose Bowl berth than I would be for them playing for a playoff berth.