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Utes move to No. 6 in the AP Top 25; Oregon falls sharply to No. 14

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes defensive tackle John Penisini (52) greets fans after Utah defeated Arizona 35-7 on Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz.

Utah made another move in the AP Top 25 football rankings Sunday, climbing one spot to No. 6.

The Utes’ improvement to another November high point in the program’s Pac-12 era stemmed from their 35-7 win at Arizona and Oregon’s 31-28 loss at Arizona State. The Ducks (9-2) fell eight spots to No. 14, in what may foreshadow their treatment in this week’s College Football Playoff Top 25, to be released Tuesday.

That ranking will be significant, with the Ducks ticketed for the Pac-12 championship game as Utah’s opponent — if the Utes (10-1) beat Colorado at home Saturday to secure the South title. Otherwise, USC would advance via a tiebreaker.

USC (8-4), the only team to have beaten Utah, returned to the AP rankings at No. 25 after beating UCLA in its regular-season finale.

Utah also is No. 6 in the Coaches Poll, having jumped two spots. The Utes remain behind Alabama, as may be the case in the CFP rankings.

The Utes were No. 5 in the AP poll in November 2004, during what became a 12-0 season. Utah’s highest-ranking as a Pac-12 member was No. 3 in October 2015, before the Utes lost at USC.

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