The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

WSU football cracks the top 15

Cougars check in at No. 13 ahead of week six matchup vs. UCLA
WSU+football+player+Brennan+Jackson+signals+to+the+crowd+to+make+noise+before+an+NCAA+football+game+against+Oregon+State%2C+Saturday%2C+September+23%2C+2023+in+Pullman%2C+Wash.
HAILEE SPEIR
WSU football player Brennan Jackson signals to the crowd to make noise before an NCAA football game against Oregon State, Saturday, September 23, 2023 in Pullman, Wash.

For the first time since 2018, the Cougs have cracked the top 15 in the most recent AP Top 25 poll. The Cougs rose three spots from last week’s poll from No. 16 up to No. 13.

Despite not playing a snap in week five, the Cougs surpassed University of Utah, North Carolina and Louisiana State University. Among the five ranked teams with a bye week, WSU was the only one to gain more than one spot in the week six AP poll.

The rise was fueled by great performances by Pac-2 ally Oregon State and formerly No. 20, now No. 16 Ole Miss. 

Going into week five, LSU was ranked No. 13, but following a 55-49 shootout loss against the Rebels, the Tigers plummeted all the way to No. 23 in this week’s AP poll, clearing a path for the Cougs ascension.

In the other key matchup of the week, the Beavers responded following their week four loss to the Cougs by returning to Corvallis and beating formerly No. 10 ranked Utah 21-7. The performance earned OSU the No. 15 spot in this week’s poll, dropping Utah down to No. 18.

As a result, WSU jumped the Utes and can thank the conference rival Beavers for multiple reasons. The first is obviously the win over Utah, but more than that, the Cougs resume is now beefed up thanks to OSU’s rise in the poll and the Beaver’s increasingly impressive resume.

It is almost certain had OSU lost, that the Cougs would not have risen as high as they did. And the more that the Beavers win, the more impressive the Cougs win in week four looks. 

The third team that WSU jumped was the UNC Tarheels. Both teams had a week five bye week, but the win by OSU was such a boost to the Cougs’ resume, that they were able to leapfrog the now No. 14 ranked UNC.

As the season continues, the Cougar’s main goal will obviously be to win each week. More than that though, there will be scoreboard watching of the list of defeated WSU opponents to see if they can continue to improve the Cougs’ strength of schedule by continuing to win each week.

Among WSU’s current list of defeated foes, OSU and Wisconsin both have only fallen to the Cougs, with the Badgers having received six votes in this week’s AP poll after a week five bye week. While Northern Colorado may be written off, Colorado State has also surprisingly helped WSU as well.

The Rams since their week one loss to Wazzu nearly knocked off the Colorado Buffaloes, who were ranked at the time, and since have gone 2-0 heading into their Mountain West schedule.

The Cougs got as high as eighth seventh and eighth in the 2018 and 2017 seasons respectively, finishing No. 10 in 2018, and unranked in 2017. This year WSU is ranked and in the top 15 for the first time under head coach Jake Dickert, and has a chance to continue to shock the country.

WSU has its own business to take care of, but as the season progresses, a little help from former opponents is always appreciated.

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About the Contributors
LUKE WESTFALL, Evergreen sports co-editor
Luke Westfall is a junior in Broadcast News from Custer, WA. He is an avid fanatic of the many sports at many levels who spends all his available time indulging in them. Luke began working at the Evergreen in Spring 2022.
HAILEE SPEIR, Evergreen photo editor
Hailee Speir is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Hailee is a junior English education major from Spokane, Washington. Hailee started working for the Evergreen in fall 2021 as a photographer.