(The season didn't go completely wrong for Washington State. The Cougars did beat rival Washington in the Apple Cup. Mike Leach's postgame speech is above.)
Washington State (3-9, 1-8 Pac-12)
Expectations: With a first-year coach taking over a program that went 4-8 in 2011, people in Pullman weren't exactly expecting a Rose Bowl berth. In the Pac-12 preseason poll, the media picked Mike Leach's Cougars to finish fifth in the Pac-12 North, ahead of only Oregon State.
What went wrong: Leach's Air Raid offense is known mainly for two things: throwing the ball non-stop and scoring a ridiculous amount of points. That's what worked for Leach at Texas Tech and that's what Cougars fans hoped he would bring to WSU. What went wrong for the Cougars this season is that the scoring points part of the equation didn't happen. Washington State only averaged 20.4 points per game, the lowest total in Leach's 11-year coaching career. In Leach's final two seasons at Texas Tech (2008 and 2009), the Red Raiders were seventh and third in the country in scoring. This year, the Cougars finished 108th.
When it went wrong: The season didn't really go wrong at any point, but the opener against BYU was definitely an eye-opener for Washington State fans who thought the Cougars would compete right using Leach's Air Raid offense. Against BYU, Washington State only scored six points and failed to score a touchdown for only the third time in Leach's 11-year career. Leach's fourth career game without a touchdown also happened in 2012 in a 19-6 October loss to Oregon State.
Biggest overall disappointment: WR Marquess Wilson. The Air Raid is an offense Wilson should have thrived in -- and he did to some extent -- but he ended up being more of a sideshow than anything else. Wilson is the school's all-time leading receiver, and he could have helped WSU's younger receivers pick up the offense. Instead, he quit the team midway through the season and accused the coaching staff of abuse. In a receiver-oriented offense, it's obviously never a good thing to have your leading receiver quit.
Bright spot: The 2012 season had one big, gigantic bright spot and that was the Cougars win over rival Washington in the season finale. Few people gave WSU a chance to win this game and even fewer people gave the Cougars a chance to win when they trailed 28-10 going into the fourth quarter. However, QB Jeff Tuel engineered an improbable 18-point fourth quarter comeback to send the game into overtime, and kicker Andrew Furney won it with a 27-yard field goal.
2013 outlook: Washington State fans should feel good about the 2013 season. Although Tuel doesn't return, quarterback Connor Halliday, who threw for 1,878 yards in 2012, will be back. The offense will have a year of running the Air Raid under its belt, which should make for a more consistent performance next season. WSU should be loaded at the wide receiver position, where they return five of their six leading receivers. All five of the returnees were either freshmen (Gabe Marks, Dominique Williams, Brett Bartolone) or sophomores (Isiah Myers, Bobby Ratliff) this season. The only thing Cougar fans may want to worry about is defense, but Leach hasn't worried about it too much in his coaching career, so maybe Washington State fans don't need to worry about it either.
Four Pac-12 teams didn't make a bowl game, read about "what went wrong" at the other three schools here: