Of the state of Washington’s seven college football programs, five are ranked in the Top 20 of their respective polls.
Three are within 75 miles of Riverfont Park.
Unscathed through its first three games, Washington State (3-0) checks in at No. 18 in the Associated Press FBS poll, its highest ranking since 2003.
Eastern Washington (1-2), which fell to brawny Texas Tech and North Dakota State before smacking Fordham 56-21 in New York last weekend, sits at No. 11 in the STATS FCS poll.
Whitworth (3-0), which has throttled its foes a combined 158-23, jumped five spots to No. 15 in the D3football.com poll, the Pirates’ best ranking since 2006.
Each of the three rides the arm of a decorated signal caller.
Just three weeks into their senior campaigns, Washington State’s Luke Falk (11,788) and Whitworth’s Ian Kolste (8,658) have set their school’s career passing records. Eastern’s Gage Gabrud, an All-American a season ago, was back to his 2016 form against Fordham.
Gubrud, who set the FCS single-single season record for passing yards (5,160) last season, shredded Fordham’s secondary for 399 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more.
Yet, Washington’s most acclaimed college football program resides in Montlake.
Washington (3-0), ranked seventh in the AP poll, has kept up the pace after last season’s Pac-12 championship and FBS playoff appearance.
Behind a sterling quarterback of their own in in reigning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year Jake Browning, the Huskies have pasted Rutgers, Montana and Fresno State by a combined 141-37.
The Huskies and Cougars have yet to face a Top 25 foe, but that will change on Friday, Sept. 29 when WSU plays host to fifth-ranked and Pac-12 favorite USC (3-0). A week later, the Cougs travel to Eugene to face resurgent and 24th-ranked Oregon (3-0).
The Huskies first face a current Top 25 team on Nov. 4 when they host Oregon.
For Eastern, the most arduous portion of its schedule is complete. The Eagles won’t face a current Top 25 team in Big Sky Conference play until No. 23 Weber State (2-1) on Nov. 4, a week before they travel to Grand Forks to take on No. 17 North Dakota (1-2).
Whitworth has a bye this week before traveling to Northwest Conference bully and eighth-ranked Linfield (1-1) on Sept. 30. The Pirates haven’t beaten the Wildcats since 2007.
Elsewhere in the Evergreen State, Central Washington (3-0) is ranked 20th in AFCA Division II Coaches poll.
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