PULLMAN – The Cougars will head into their annual rivalry game against the Huskies ranked No. 8 in the College Football Playoff poll.
For the fourth consecutive week, Washington State held its No. 8 spot in the CFP rankings, released Tuesday afternoon on ESPN’s College Football Playoff show. The one-loss Cougars are ranked below two-loss LSU, which again checked in at No. 7 in the weekly rankings.
“I’m a little surprised by that, to be honest,” ESPN’s Rece Davis said on the CFP show.
WSU could play two teams in the top 17 of the CFP poll over the next two weeks – perhaps allowing the Cougars to move up.
Washington, which will travel across the state to play WSU on Friday in the Apple Cup (5:30 p.m., Fox 28), moved up two spots to No. 16 in the CFP rankings.
Pac-12 South champion Utah also rose in the weekly CFP poll. The Utes, who close out the regular season with a nonconference rivalry game against BYU, jumped two spots to No. 17.
If the Cougars beat the Huskies on Friday, they’d secure a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against Utah on Nov. 30 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
“How about Washington State? At some point, we start saying, ‘I believe,’ ” ESPN analyst David Pollack said. “I believe what I see, and every week they’ve continued to do it. Offensively, they can score with everybody in the country. There’s no doubt about it. They’re that good. Their offensive line is sound, their quarterback’s one of the most dynamic players in college football. Their defense looks consistent on a week-to-week basis.”
Consecutive wins against ranked opposition would give the Cougars their first conference championship of the Pac-12 era and make them 12-1. LSU can do no better than a 10-2 finish.
“If Washington State beats Washington, there is no reason on God’s green earth that LSU should be above them,” Pollack said. “I don’t think they should be.”
The complete top 10: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Georgia, No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 7 LSU, No. 8 WSU, No. 9 Central Florida and No. 10 Ohio State.
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