Huskies fall to No. 7, Cougs up to No. 20 in polls

SEATTLE -- The Washington Huskies dropped three spots to No. 7 in both national polls following Saturday's upset loss to USC while the Washington State Cougars moved up to No. 20 after blowing out Cal.

Now we'll have to wait until Tuesday to find out how much damage the loss did to the Dawgs in the College Football Playoff rankings. They were No. 4 heading into this week.

The top 8 in both polls are the same:

1. Alabama (10-0)

2. Ohio State (9-1)

3. Louisville (9-1)

4. Michigan (9-1)

5. Clemson (9-1)

6. Wisconsin (8-2)

7. Washington (9-1)

8. Oklahoma (8-2)

Several things are helping keep UW (6-1 in Pac-12, 9-1 overall) in the conversation for the national championship. The most important is they can still win the Pac-12 title, which is of great significance to the selection committee. Five of the teams ahead of Washington are either in the Big Ten (Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin) or ACC (Louisville, Clemson). Only two of them, at most, will win their conference titles. And at least two won't make it to their conference championship game. But the Huskies can't afford another loss.

The Cougars (7-0 in Pac-12, 8-2 overall) have almost no hopes of a national title -- their season-opening loss to lower-division powerhouse Eastern Washington will keep them out of the conversation unless they dominate their last two regular season games and the Pac-12 championship.

But WSU's victory over Cal means the Cougars, at the very least, will play for the Pac-12 North title in the Apple Cup on Nov. 25. There is also the possibility that if the Cougs beat No. 12 Colorado in Boulder next Saturday and the Huskies lose to Arizona State, WSU will win the Pac-12 North title next week regardless of what happens in the Apple Cup.

Washington and Washington State both lost key players to significant injuries Saturday. Cougars star receiver River Cracraft tore his ACL and is done for the season. And the Huskies lost starting middle linebacker Azeem Victor, their top tackler, to a leg injury. The extent of the injury was not known early Sunday.

Copyright 2016 KING


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