Washington State's 9-4 record in 2015 marked its best season in more than a decade, and the resurgent Cougars will have an experienced football team in 2016 with eight offensive starters and six defensive starters returning.

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Washington State’s 9-4 record in 2015 marked its best season in more than a decade, and the resurgent Cougars will have an experienced football team in 2016 with eight offensive starters and six defensive starters returning.

The Cougars received 51 votes to finish 27th in the final Associated Press Poll of the 2015-16 season, while¬†USA Today gave Washington State an “A-” in its final end of season grades.

Expectations are high for WSU in 2016.

ESPN.com has the Cougars ranked No. 20 in its “way-too-early 2016 top 25” with Mark Schlabach noting “WSU has some key pieces to replace on defense, but the Cougars have improved dramatically on that side of the ball. They play early road games at Boise State and Stanford in 2016, but they’ll have the benefit of playing Oregon, UCLA and Washington at home.”

WSU just misses the top 25 in Fox Sports’ Stewart Mandel’s “way-too-early” top 25 rankings.

Athlon Sports has WSU at No. 23 in its edition of 2016 rankings, while CBS Sports has WSU at No. 25 and notes that the Cougars are the “dark horse” in the Pac-12 title race.

The Pac-12 Network profiled Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson, who doubles as the Cougs’ PA announcer.