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Washington State debuts at No. 23 in preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll

For just the second time under Mike Leach and fourth time in school history, Washington State will open the college football season nationally ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

WSU debuted at No. 23 when the initial AP Top 25 rankings were released Monday morning. The Cougars, who finished the 2018 season at No. 10 following their triumph in the Alamo Bowl, collected 200 points from the 62 media members that make up the voting panel.

The Cougars have been ranked in the preseason poll just three other times in program history and just one other time in the last 17 years. Two years ago, WSU barely cracked the preseason poll, at No. 24. The only other times the Cougars have been ranked since the poll’s inception in 1936 were in 2002, when they opened at No. 11, and 1952, when they were No. 15.

WSU is one of five teams from the Pac-12 Conference ranked in the poll and one four from the Pac-12 North. Oregon checked in at No. 11, Washington at No. 13, Utah at No. 14 and Stanford at No. 25.

Other Pac-12 teams collecting preseason AP Top 25 votes included Arizona State (3), Arizona (1) and USC (1).

After fending off Alabama to win the 2018 college football national championship, Clemson and Dabo Swinney will open the season ranked No. 1. The Tigers are followed by No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Florida, No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 10 Texas.