But all that is in the past, and redshirt sophomore receiver Bobby Ratliff firmly believes his team has what it takes to be postseason bound in 2012.
The Cougars have been receiving a lot more media attention than normal this offseason, with most of it directing to the hire of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.
"Last year we won four games, and really that's just not good enough," said Ratliff during a phone interview. "I want the team to win and for us to get to a bowl. I feel like our chances are great. Our team as a whole is a lot more confident this year that we're going to go out and win games. We're not worried about anything else."
However, another reason for the excitement surrounding Pullman is the return of an offensive unit that finished inside the top 10 in passing yards (322.3 per game), while scoring almost 30 points on average.
Among those from the recruiting class of 2010 is fellow receiver Marquess Wilson and quarterback Connor Halliday. Wilson, a junior, is considered one of the top wideouts in the nation, while Halliday is still vying for the starting job under center.
"A lot of the buzz is coming from our new coaching staff, but a lot of teams started noticing the talent we have here before they even got here," said Ratliff. "My class is a great class and a lot of us are really starting to grow and we've got a ton of talent throughout the team."
Coach Leach brings high expectations and a lot of enthusiasm to the team, while already making some significant changes to the style of play and offensive game plan.
"There is still a quarterback battle going on, but they're all looking great: Balls are coming accurately and on time," said Ratliff.
This really comes to no one's surprise, as he was one of the better play-callers for a high-scoring Red Raiders offense from 2000-09.
Ratliff was a contributor from the get-go as a freshman last year, finishing with 28 receptions for 348 yards and a touchdown. He's projected to start this fall and should be a big factor alongside Wilson in the passing game.
"(The offense) is a lot different," said Ratliff. "Last year we had a huge playbook to learn with shorter practices. He brings a smaller playbook with extended practices, so it's all been about perfecting the little things.
"We've been grinding throughout fall camp, and of course all of us are anxious for the upcoming season, but we have still have to work on a lot of things as a team," he continued.
Not necessarily the type of person to keep track of individual accolades, Ratliff noted that his personal goals went hand-in-hand with his team expectations.
And those are quite obvious.
Washington State takes on BYU in the clash of the Cougars for the season opener on Thursday, August 30 at 10:15 p.m. ET. The game will be aired on ESPN.
"This year we're really going to take our season one game at a time," Ratliff said. "Right now and for the next two weeks we're looking at BYU. Whatever else comes after that comes."
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