Washington State athletic director Pat Chun was not pleased to see two-loss Washington State finish No. 13 overall in the College Football Playoff rankings, dropping below three-loss teams in Florida, LSU and Penn State after losing the Apple Cup against rival Washington two weeks ago.
"We can easily infer that where we're ranked is a result of maybe the perception of the league," Chun said, per Kyle Bonagura of ESPN.com.
"We're very disappointed with where we ended up being ranked. We believe, as a 10-win team in Power 5 league, the manner in which our two losses came, statistically how we match up with the other teams in the same cluster as us, we believed our résumé ranked perhaps higher than where the committee thought it was, but they are empowered to make those decisions. We'll respect those decisions.
"We are not happy with where we're ranked, but we're ecstatic to be in the Alamo Bowl."
Chun believed Washington State should have been awarded a New Year's Six bowl, but instead landed in the Alamo Bowl against No. 24 Iowa State. Whether that was disrespect against the Pac-12 is harder to gauge, especially since the conference had a pretty obvious down year.
The highest-ranked Pac-12 team was three-loss Washington, at No. 9. Utah was the only other Pac-12 school to crack the rankings, coming in at No. 17.
One factor weighing against the Cougars was a weak nonconference slate that included games against Wyoming, San Jose State and Eastern Washington, with the team's best win coming against Utah. According to Bill Connelly of SB Nation, the Cougars ranked just 60th in strength of schedule, another reason they fell behind teams like Florida (22nd in SOS), LSU (first) and Penn State (21st).
Pac-12 teams like UCLA (eighth), Stanford (25th), Oregon State (31st), Utah (37th), USC (41st), Washington (43rd), Arizona State (46th) and Colorado (59th) also played tougher schedules than Washington State, according to those rankings.
Yes, the Cougars could only play the teams on their schedule this season. But ultimately, the College Football Playoff committee didn't think highly of their overall resume given their fairly tame schedule.