SPORTS

Utes In, Aggies Snubbed In First College Football Playoff Ranking

Oct 31, 2018, 12:36 AM | Updated: 7:46 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The first College Football Playoff rankings of the season have been released. With two in-state schools in the AP Top 25, anticipation was high for fans of both. After the dust settled, Utah was in. Utah State was out.

Utah Debuts At No. 15

The Utes made their debut at number 15 on Tuesday. Winners of four straight and 6-2 on the season, Utah was ranked number 16 in both of the latest AP and coaches polls after their 41-10 win over UCLA at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

As it stands, Utah has nowhere to go but up. With three Pac-12 games remaining on its schedule against Arizona State, Oregon, and Colorado, the Utes have been playing their best football of the year. They’ve averaged 41 points per game in their last four contests, while allowing just 17.25 points per game – 15th best among FBS defenses.

The toughest game left for Utah is against Oregon, 5-3 overall and 2-3 in the Pac-12. They Ducks were ranked No. 19 in the AP poll before a shocking 44-15 loss to Arizona on Saturday. They looked to rebound at Rice-Eccles Stadium, where the Utes have just one loss on the year.

Committee Not Yet Impressed With Utah State

Utah State entered the AP Top 25 Sunday for the first time since 2012 with a No. 18 ranking. It’s their second time in the Top 25 since 1961, and just the fourth AP ranking in school history.

At 7-1, the Aggies have gotten off to their best start since 1965.

Utah State averages 49.8 points per game – third best among FBS teams behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 17 Houston, the latter of which was also left out of the first CFP ranking.

The Aggies’ only loss on the season came via Michigan State, who needed a late 4th quarter rally at home to win.

Despite that, they were left out of the initial CFP rankings.

Two “Group of 5” teams did make the committees’ first ranking – No. 12 UCF (7-0, 4-0) and No. 23 Fresno State (7-1, 4-0) . UCF was in prime position after finishing 2017 as the lone undefeated team in college football and winning its first seven games of 2018 and is the likely favorite to fill the G5 slot in the New Year’s Six bowl games.

Despite both teams being in the Mountain West Conference, Utah State and Fresno State aren’t scheduled to play in 2018, the one chance the teams have would be in the Conference Championship game. Both teams hold one-game leads in their divisions but the conference race may not be decided until the final weeks of the season.

Fresno State has a tougher draw with remaining games against Boise State (6-2, 4-1) and San Diego State (6-2, 3-1) while Utah State has Boise State in the final week of the regular season.

With games against Hawai’i, San Jose State, and Colorado State before the final contest against Boise State, Utah State has a great opportunity to enter the rankings over the final month of the season and a win over Fresno State in the conference championship game would give the Aggies an outside shot at playing in its first New Year’s Six bowl game.

Both Utah and Utah State will continue conference play on Saturday with the Utes traveling to Arizona State, kickoff at 2:00 PM. The Aggies will travel to Hawaii, kickoff at 10 p.m.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

  • Utah State Aggies Scoreboard

  • Utah State Aggies Team Leaders

  • Utah State Aggies Standings

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Utes In, Aggies Snubbed In First College Football Playoff Ranking