College Football Rankings Week 9: Can WSU Take Advantage Of California Loss?
College football rankings for Week 9 could give the Washington State Cougars a huge push. In the last college football rankings from Week 8, WSU appeared at No. 38 in the Coaches Poll. The Cougars received five points in the vote, which put them further down the list of ranked teams, but also showed that the team was getting noticed again on a national stage.
On Friday night, October 23, a No. 19 ranked California lost to UCLA in a tough Pac-12 game. This dropped the Golden Bears to 5-2 overall, but also to 2-2 in the conference. Despite California quarterback Jared Goff having another good game, it was UCLA freshman quarterback Josh Rosen that ended up playing the better game. Now the Pac-12 standings are in flux once again.
The 4-2 Washington State Cougars are on the road for a tough game against the 5-2 Arizona Wildcats on Saturday, October 24. It’s an extremely important match-up in regard to the conference standings with both teams now courting hopes of a big postseason bowl game. Arizona still has a huge game coming up against Utah on November 14, and WSU hosts Stanford on October 31. It puts both teams in a position to possibly win their respective divisions within the Pac-12 and make it to the conference championship game.
Setting aside what the Week 9 college football rankings could look like for the Pac-12, this WSU vs. Arizona game will have a huge impact on how the conference plays out. With California losing on Friday, WSU is alone in second place in the Pac-12 North. The school is 2-1 in conference games and trails only the undefeated Stanford Cardinals. By beating Arizona, the Cougars could be playing for a first place standing against Stanford in Week 9. That could certainly be an exciting moment for college football fans in Pullman, Washington.
Arizona currently has the sixth best rushing attack (297.4 yards per game) in college football. The team also ranks ninth in overall offense, suggesting the WSU defense is in for a test on Saturday. On defense, the Wildcats rank 93rd, showing that the team could also be ready to give up a lot of points. WSU has the fourth best passing attack (398.5 yards per game) in college football, so the Cougars shouldn’t have trouble scoring. Those numbers could predict a very high-scoring affair when the teams meet at Arizona Stadium. The over/under of 73 for the game just doesn’t seem high enough.
There are two other important college football games from the Pac-12 this weekend. Stanford vs. Washington and Utah vs. USC will both make a big impact on the conference standings. Several must-win scenarios now exist for teams that want to remain in the running for a chance to play in the 2016 Rose Bowl. Desperation can lead to upsets taking place, making it a very exciting weekend for fans of the Pac-12.
The Washington State Cougars already seem to be playing with house money, as head coach Mike Leach has the school with more wins (already) than it had in the 2014 college football season. While the team still needs two more wins just to become bowl eligible, a possible route to the 2016 Rose Bowl is also laid out in front of this team. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, by winning the final six games of the regular season, WSU would then win the Pac-12 North. That would put the team in the Pac-12 Championship Game for the first time in school history.
In order to get on track to make the 2016 Rose Bowl, or to move up in the Week 9 college football rankings, the Washington State Cougars first need to win against the Arizona Wildcats. Game time is at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday, October 24.
[Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images]