During his introductory news conference as Washington State’s new coach, Nick Rolovich told the audience “the pirate left his treasure in Pullman,” of course referring to his predecessor, Mike Leach, and the talent the Cougars had coming back in the fall of 2020 despite wholesale changes on the coaching staff.
Rolovich apparently wasn’t the only coach to recognize that, as WSU collected six points in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll conducted by USA Today.
The Cougars were one of eight teams from the Pac-12 Conference either ranked in the poll or receiving votes. WSU’s six points would equate to being the country’s 41st-ranked team.
The Pac-12’s three ranked teams are Oregon at No. 9, USC at No. 17 and Utah at No. 20. Under the revised 10-game, conference-only schedule released by the Pac-12 two weeks ago. WSU opens the season with consecutive home games against the Utes and Ducks. The Trojans weren’t on the Cougars’ original schedule but were added to the slate when the Pac-12 shifted to its new 10-game format.
Pac-12 teams receiving votes include Arizona State (88 points), Washington (65), WSU (6), California (5) and Stanford (3).
Clemson took the top spot, followed by Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia and LSU.
The poll’s voting panel includes 65 FBS head coaches, including from the Pac-12: USC’s Clay Helton, Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith, Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham.
The Cougars haven’t received votes in the Coaches Poll since Oct. 6, 2019, prior to their 38-34 loss to Arizona State in Tempe.
Rolovich should learn lots more about his first WSU team on Aug. 17, when the Cougars are tentatively scheduled to open fall camp in Pullman.
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