College Football Rankings: Washington State Cougars Ranked After Victory Over UCLA

College football rankings for Week 12 are rewarding the Washington State Cougars. WSU is No. 23 if the college football Coaches Poll after a big win over UCLA on Saturday night, November 15. The 31-27 victory was huge for WSU, as it improves the team to 7-3 on the season and gives the school another victory over a ranked opponent. This also marks the first time that WSU has appeared in the college football rankings since Mike Leach took over as the head coach.

An interesting note about the Week 12 Coaches Poll is that Oregon (No. 22) is ranked just ahead of the WSU. This is despite the Cougars beating the Ducks earlier in the season. Oregon seems to be getting a huge boost for beating the Stanford Cardinal, but it’s an odd decision by the voting coaches to do that. Oregon and WSU each have 7-3 records, with just two games remaining in the regular season.

The Washington State Cougars also appear in the latest college football power rankings as well. ESPN has slated the team at No. 24 in the rankings, making this the first time WSU has appeared on that list since Leach took over the sidelines. Oregon (No. 23) and USC (No. 22) also joined these rankings for the first time, with Stanford (No. 16) and Utah (No. 18) also in the poll.

Mike Leach With Luke Falk [Photo by William Mancebo / Getty Images]In the updated Pac-12 standings, WSU holds second place in the North division. The Cougars are two wins behind the division leading Stanford Cardinal, but cannot catch up after losing the head-to-head match-up earlier in the season. It’s worth noting that the Washington Huskies currently hold a 5-6 record on the season, meaning the 2015 Apple Cup will decide whether Washington becomes bowl eligible or not this season.

Appearing in the college football rankings again is a huge deal for the Washington State Cougars, especially with hor far the program has come over the last few years. WSU quarterback Luke Falk continues to put together an amazing season, with 331 more passing yards and two more touchdowns against UCLA on Saturday night. That was despite getting banged up on quite a few hits during the game.

For the season, Falk now has 4,067 passing yards and 35 touchdowns throw the air. Falk also has a completion percentage of 70.3 and a quarterback rating of 149.7 this year. That gives him the most passing yards in college football, with 112 more than Matt Johnson of Bowling Green University. His 35 touchdowns are also just seven behind the Pac-12 record that Marcus Mariota had with Oregon during the 2014 college football season.

Luke Falk Leads WSU Past UCLA [Photo by Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images]WSU has a great chance to stay in the Week 13 college football rankings as well. The team will host Colorado (4-7) in the final home game of the season, giving the Cougars a great chance to pick up an eighth win this season. Colorado has not looked good at all this season, but it is important for WSU to not start looking ahead to the Apple Cup at the end of the month. It will be the first Washington State vs. Washington game that has actually meant something in a number of seasons.

The loyal Washington State Cougars fans are finally getting rewarded win games in the win column, and it’s just a matter of time until that bowl invite comes in for this season. The team cannot make it to the College Football Playoff or Rose Bowl this season, but WSU could still finish in third place overall in the Pac-12. That would guarantee a good invite for the postseason. Until then, the college football rankings now reflect that WSU has become relevant on the national stage again.

[Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]