AP Top 25: Utah finishes No. 12, highest final AP ranking since 2008

BYU finishes No. 19, Utah State at No. 24 following Mountain West title, LA Bowl victory

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham and Utah football players salute Aaron lowe and Ty Jordan during a break in the action, between Utah Utes and Ohio State Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022.

A landmark season for the University of Utah yielded one of its highest-ever finishes in the Associated Press Top 25.

The Utes, first-time Pac-12 champions on their way to the program’s first Rose Bowl, landed at No. 12 when the final AP Poll was released late Monday evening following Georgia’s 33-18 win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff national championship game.

The No. 12 ranking marks the program’s fourth-highest finish in the final AP Poll dating back to 1994. Kyle Whittingham’s vaunted unbeaten 2008 team finished No. 2, the Urban Meyer-coached, BCS-busting 2004 team closed at No. 4, and the 10-win 1994 squad finished at No. 10.

Monday was the 10th time in program history that Utah (10-4) has appeared in the final AP Poll, and the fifth time in its time in the Pac-12, which dates back to 2011.

BYU, which was ranked No. 12 in the AP Poll prior to a loss to UAB in the Independence Bowl, hit the board at No. 19, while Utah State finished at No. 24. The Aggies closed head coach Blake Anderson’s first season with a flourish as a win over San Diego State in the Mountain West championship game and an LA Bowl win over Oregon State brought them to 11 wins.

Utah’s final AP Top 25 ranking (all-time)

1994: No. 10

2003: No. 21

2004: No. 4

2008: No. 2

2009: No. 18

——-Pac-12 era——

2014: No. 21

2015: No. 17

2016: No. 23

2019: No. 16

2021: No. 12