Team preview: Washington State

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(All information as of June 20, 2007)


All Washington State had to do was win one of its last three games last season, two of which were at home. That's it, and the Cougars would've played in a bowl game.

As it was, after becoming the first Pac-10 team in 70 years with double-digit wins three straight seasons from 2001-03, the program was shut out of the postseason for a third straight season.

The fall from the nation's elite came so suddenly that it's taken three years to realize it. In 2004 and 2005, there were a plethora of last-possession losses, a host of injuries and this, that and other thing and at the end of each season, and it was easy for fans to say, "Look, take away these two plays and if this guy wasn't injured, we would've been right there."

It was easy to say because it was the truth, or so it had seemed. As the Cougars enter the 2007 campaign, it's been three years without a winning record and three straight losing marks in the Pac-10. Alas, 2003, in terms of college football, seems a lifetime ago.