Washington State is ranked No. 23 in the latest AP Top 25 poll, released Sunday.

It is the program’s first appearance in the AP poll since the 2019 season, and it comes after a second consecutive upset win over a ranked Wisconsin team in as many seasons. The Cougars beat the Badgers 31-22 Saturday night in a game that served as a statement for the program to the rest of the country.

“At the end of the day, our team belongs at the highest level,” coach Jake Dickert said after the game. “Our program does. I believe that. That’s in my heart. I say that with a meaning. And for all this stuff to go on, I think it’s just another way for our guys to go out there and prove who we are.”

Washington State’s future is uncertain after this year. When the Pac-12 breaks apart ahead of the 2024 athletic calendar, Washington State and Oregon State will be left behind.

Those two universities have banded together with the hopes of maintaining the Pac-12 conference in some capacity, and they’ve even brought legal action against the conference in pursuit of that goal.

Saturday against Wisconsin provided the Cougar program and its fanbase to air its frustrations on the football field.

The crowd inside Martin Stadium supplied Wazzu with emotion all night. At one point in the first half, Brennan Jackson scooped up a fumble and fell into the endzone to give Wazzu a 24-6 lead.

Washington State is one of eight Pac-12 schools ranked in the latest AP Top 25. The Cougars are joined in the poll by No. 5 USC, No. 8 Washington, No. 12 Utah, No. 13 Oregon, No. 16 Oregon State, No. 18 Colorado, and No. 24 UCLA.

The rest of the media poll can be found below, with first-place votes in parentheses:

  1. Georgia (55)
  2. Michigan (2)
  3. Florida State (3)
  4. Texas (2)
  5. USC
  6. Ohio State
  7. Penn State
  8. Washington
  9. Notre Dame
  10. Alabama
  11. Tennessee
  12. Utah
  13. Oregon
  14. LSU
  15. Kansas State
  16. Oregon State
  17. Ole Miss
  18. Colorado
  19. Oklahoma
  20. North Carolina
  21. Duke
  22. Miami
  23. Washington State
  24. UCLA
  25. Iowa

Others receiving votes: Clemson 86, Arkansas 33, TCU 19, Kansas 19, Tulane 17, Wisconsin 10, Kentucky 5, Mississippi St. 5, Minnesota 3, Cincinnati 3, Fresno St. 2, Wyoming 1, Oklahoma St. 1, Maryland 1, James Madison 1.