4-7 overall, 1-7 conference, 9th Pac-10
Against the spread
5-5 (2-3 home, 3-2 away, 1-1 grass)
6-4 (3-2 home, 3-2 away, 1-1 grass)
-.45 per game
2005 Season Summary
Washington State Cougar head coach Bill Doba enjoyed the benefits of a relatively full cupboard left by his predecessor, Mike Price, in his first year, (2003), as he lead the Cougars to a mark of 10-3 straight up and 6-7 against the spread capped off with a 28-20 Holiday Bowl win over Texas as 9.5-point dogs.
Things slipped noticeably
In Doba’s second season, however, things slipped noticeably as the Cougars went 5-6 straight up and 3-8 against the spread as Price’s influence waned considerably as time passed. It was Doba’s program now and there was legitimate concern in regards to whether or not he would be able to maintain Price’s level of winning, which culminated with a Rose Bowl berth in 2002.
Things also slipped noticeably for gamblers as Washington State had covered just 6 of their last 19 games as they entered the 2005 campaign and was a dreadful 1-7 against the spread in their final 8 lined games of 2004. the Cougars were well on their way to becoming a “go against” team on the betting boards as there was little evidence that Doba had a turnaround in place.
Doba altered the offense
After two seasons with Price’s players and system, Doba altered the offense with a more simplified approach as he believed that the playbook was getting too complicated for his young team. It was still hoped that due to a soft non-conference schedule, Washington State might make a minor bowl and winning season for 2005.
Washington State opened the 2005 season at home against Idaho and was a clearly overvalued 28-point chalk, winning only 38-26. Still, it was a win and it was hoped that the Cougars would make a noticeable improvement in their next game at Nevada. Washington State was a still rather expensive 9.5-point chalk against the Wolf Pack but scored an impressive 55-21 win, which sent a mixed message to confused gamblers. A 48-7 home win over 1-AA Gambling followed.
Exposed as a team in trouble
In their next game at another team that was down from their previous standards under a former coach, Oregon State, the Cougars were 1-point chalks in a 33-44 loss. This was followed by a catastrophic 21-24 upset home loss to reeling and rebuilding Stanford as 14.5-point chalks as Washington State was exposed as a team in trouble.
Brief bargain value
The shocking loss to Stanford did serve to transform Washington State into a brief bargain value as in their next game at home versus undefeated UCLA they nearly pulled off the upset before falling 41-44 as a 5-point dog. At Cal the following week as 12.5-point dogs the Cougars got the cash for the second consecutive week in a tough 38-42 loss.
Value was back down
In their next game at USC, the Cougars were 28.5-point dogs in as the line came down from where it might have been had WSU not covered its previous two games in competitive fashion. Washington State was blown out by the Men of Troy 13-55. In their next game at home versus struggling Arizona State the Cougars were 1-point chalks in a game that they should have been getting points in, as their value was back down as proven in their 24-27 loss.
A bargain again
With just 3 covers in their first 8 games against the spread, which included two straight failures, Washington State became a bargain again to end the season. On Senior Day against Oregon, the Cougars covered in a 31-34 loss as 4.5-point dogs.
In the Apple Cup season finale at archrival Washington, the Cougars were a 3-point dog, which seemed expensive in a game that seemed to be a “pick’em.” WSU prevailed 26-22 to end 2005 with two straight payoffs.