The Cougars aren't ranked yet, but they're right in the mix

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Washington State is knocking on the door of the national top 25 rankings.

The Cougars received 99 points in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll released Thursday by USA Today, to put them at 26th nationally, right behind 25th ranked Utah, which tallied 109 points in the poll.

Alabama, which finished the 2016 season 14-1 and ranked No. 2 in both the Coaches and Associated Press polls, debuted at No. 1 in the first rankings of 2017.

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The Crimson Tide was followed by Ohio State and Florida State at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

Four Pac-12 teams appeared in the preseason Coaches Poll — USC at No. 4, UW at No. 7, Stanford at No. 14 and Utah at No. 25.

Colorado tallied 72 points, which puts the Buffaloes 27th overall, just behind the Cougars in the Coaches Poll.

The Cougars, however, fared better in ESPN’s preseason top 25 poll, which was released Thursday. WSU was ranked 24th in the ESPN poll, with ESPN reporter Adam Rittenberg noting, “It’s tough to scrub Washington State’s feeble finish to 2016 from memory, but the Cougars are another team to watch in the loaded Pac-12 North.”

WSU finished 8-4 in 2016, with a loss to Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl.

The Cougars will face all four Coaches Poll-ranked Pac-12 teams this year, and will also play 27th-ranked Colorado and Boise State, which, with 49 total points, came in 28th in the Coaches Poll.