Pac-12 North Sleeper: How Washington State Cougars Can Shock the World and Win the Conference

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September 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington State Cougars defensive back

Beau Glover

(35) and the Cougars celebrate the 10-7 victory against the Southern California Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time, the Washington State Cougars begin their quest to secure their first winning season in 11 years today at Sacajewea junior high school in Lewiston. That’s right, the team I think could shock the nation is starting their Fall tour at a junior high school.

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Now, before we go any further I know that you saw the title, meaning you’ve come into this with the single purpose of seeing just how far gone I am. You’re probably still laughing your butt off. Not to worry Cougs, I’m sane. Just remember, this is not a prediction, nor is it a prognostication. These are simply some thoughts of what needs to happen if WSU is to accomplish the “impossible”. So here it is.

I guess the first thing to keep in mind is that this isn’t just a pipe-dream, per se. It’s been done before by WSU in similar dream-like fashion. Yes, it’s in one of the toughest divisions in football. No, not a single expert is calling for it. It may be unlikely…

But this reminds me of 1997, when the Cougs were coming off of a 5-6 season, on their way to missing a bowl. An explosive offense. Mike Price. The ‘Fab Five’. The ‘Fat Five’. Ryan Leaf. Michael Black. A not-spectacular but still completely underrated front-7 on defense with some ridiculous LB’s and just enough athleticism in the secondary. And we had no idea what Rian Lindell could do at kicker.

The Cougs faced even longer odds then than they do now and all the chips were stacked against Pullman. Hadn’t beat USC on the road in decades. UCLA had owned WSU as well. It started simply enough, nipped both of them in dramatic fashion. Went on to nip Desert Swarm (Arizona) by a point at home and beat Washington in a classic to secure a Pac-10 Co-Championship. And how’d they do it? Simply out-gunned the other team.

Fast forward to today let’s look at the five things that must happen for the Cougs to shock the world and win the Pac-12 North (next page).