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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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BYU 25th in final football coaches poll, 13th in total defense

I took a little flak in some corners a few weeks ago when I wrote that BYU's football team had a chance to finished the season in the rankings if it could beat Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl and get to 10 wins in 2011.

Thanks to USC being on probation and not eligible to be ranked in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, my prediction proved accurate.

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The Cougars are No. 25 in the final coaches poll.

They are not ranked in the final AP Poll (USC is No. 6), but are the top team among those teams also receiving votes and would be No. 26 if the poll extended that far.

It is the fifth time in the last six years that BYU has finished the season ranked in at least one of the major polls.

The last time BYU did that was the stretch from 1989 through 1994.


The final NCAA FBS national rankings are also out today, and the Cougars are in the top 25 in a couple categories, most on the defensive side of the ball.

The offense finished fifth in third-down conversion percentage and 11th in fewest tackles allowed for loss. It was 24th in time of possession.

The defense finished eighth in red zone defense, 13th in total defense, 15th in passing efficiency defense and 22nd in scoring defense.

Individually, Riley Nelson finished 16th in passing efficiency.

In case you are wondering, the Cougars finished 41st in total offense and 42nd in scoring offense. Not bad for a team that was in the 100s in both categories four games into the season.


Speaking of the rankings, it looks like TCU will finish as BYU's only ranked opponent in 2011. In their last year in the MWC, the Frogs finished 13th in the coaches poll and 14th in the AP poll.

No other teams that BYU played even received votes in either poll.

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