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The pick: Why Washington State will beat New Mexico State

PULLMAN – It would be easy for me to just sit here and gloat about the success-to-failure ratio of my predictions last season.

So here goes …

Much like the Cougars in 2018, we overachieved making our weekly Friday picks. Washington State won 11 games and lost two. Likewise, in the predictions department, we racked up 11 wins and two losses. While the Cougars lost to USC and Washington, we also slipped up twice, picking them to beat the Trojans and lose to Oregon.

But time to put the past behind us. “The most important game is always the next one,” WSU head coach Mike Leach reminded reporters earlier this week, leading up to the Cougars’ season opener against New Mexico State.

Can the Aggies cause the Cougars, and this picker, an early season setback? Looking back at last year’s notes, it was a game between NMSU and WSU’s first 2018 opponent, Wyoming, that informed our decision on whether the Cougars would knock off the Cowboys in Laramie. The Aggies were trounced by Wyoming 29-7 in Las Cruces, and went on to lose seven of their final eight games against FBS opposition.

If NMSU upsets WSU, I’ll gladly refer to Martin Stadium as Doug Martin Stadium the rest of the season. But the Aggies’ track record – 0-12 against the AP Top 25 and 0-7 against the Pac-12 since 1999 – doesn’t give me much faith.

The pick: Washington State 58, New Mexico State 17.