Utah football one of five Pac-12 teams in AP’s preseason Top 25

This marks the fifth straight season the Utes were voted into the AP’s preseason rankings.

(Meg Oliphant | Special to The Tribune) Fans celebrate a touchdown by the Utah Utes in the second quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Rose Bowl Stadium on Jan. 2, 2023 in Pasadena, Calif.

The Utah football team is unsettled for now at quarterback, with Cam Rising still working his way back from a ton ACL, and backup Brandon Rose suffering an undisclosed injury. The receivers’ room is being turned over yet again in search of some big-play weapons. And the secondary has some key names to replace.

And yet, the Utes are once again perceived as one of the top programs in the nation, as they came in at No. 14 in the Associated Press preseason top-25 poll released Monday morning. (They finished 10th in the 2022 season-ending poll.)

Utah also landed at No. 14 in the coaches’ poll released last week.

This marks Utah’s fifth straight appearance in the AP preseason Top 25.

The Utes are one of five Pac-12 teams in the poll, with USC coming in at No. 6 (its best preseason ranking since 2017, when it was No. 4), Washington at No. 10 (the Huskies’ best preseason ranking since 2018, when they were No. 6), and Oregon at No. 15 — the Ducks’ lowest preseason ranking since 2018, when they came in No. 24. Oregon State checked in at No. 18, the Beavers’ first preseason ranking since 2013.

Florida, which Utah will open the season against on Aug. 31 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, was not among the Top 25, and garnered only four points in the voting.

As expected, the top-five of the poll was an SEC- and Big 10-centric affair, with two-time defending champion Georgia a near-unanimous selection at No. 1 (the Bulldogs garnered 1,572 points and 60 of 63 first-place votes), while Michigan (two first-place votes) was second, Ohio State (one first-place vote) was third, Alabama fourth, and LSU fifth.

No team has been more of a fixture in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 college football poll than Ohio State.

The Buckeyes now have appeared in 70 of the 74 preseason rankings that date to 1950, more than any other school.

Meanwhile, Tulane, coming off one of the program’s greatest seasons, made history again by making it into the first Top 25 for the 2023 season.

The full AP Top 25 is:

1. Georgia

2. Michigan

3. Ohio State

4. Alabama

5. LSU

6. USC

7. Penn State

8. Florida State

9. Clemson

10. Washington

11. Texas

12. Tennessee

13. Notre Dame

14. Utah

15. Oregon

16. Kansas State

17. TCU

18. Oregon State

19. Wisconsin

20. Oklahoma

21. North Carolina

22. Mississippi

23. Texas A&M

24. Tulane

25. Iowa

The Associated Press contributed to this article.