BYU Football Ranked No. 11 In Final AP Poll Of 2020 College Football Season

Jan 12, 2021, 12:06 AM
BYU Football - Kalani Sitake...
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 22: Head coach Kalani Sitake of the Brigham Young Cougars celebrates with his team after beating the Central Florida Knights 49-23 at FAU Stadium on December 22, 2020 in Boca Raton, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – The 2020 season produced the highest final ranking for a BYU football team in 24 years.

After the final seconds ran off in Miami to crown the Alabama Crimson Tide over Ohio State with another National Championship Trophy, the Associated Press released its final Top 25 poll of an unprecedented 2020 campaign.

BYU moved up two spots from the previous AP poll to close out the 2020 season at No. 11.

The No. 11 ranking is the highest final ranking since 1996 when BYU finished No. 5 that season. It’s the fourth-highest ranking in program history behind 1984 (No. 1), 1996 (No. 5), and 1983 (No. 7).

Before 2020, the last time BYU finished a season ranked in the AP Top 25 was 2009. After an 11-2 record that season, BYU finished No. 12 in the final poll.

BYU was the second-highest non-Power 5 football program in the final AP Top 25 poll. Behind only Cincinnati, who barely lost to Georgia in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Day.

BYU football was dominant in 2020

The one team to defeat BYU in 2020, Coastal Carolina, dropped from No. 9 to No. 14 after losing to Liberty in the Cure Bowl during the postseason.

BYU was one of the nation’s most dominant teams this season, finishing No. 3 in scoring offense at 43.5 points per game and No. 4 in scoring defense, allowing only 15.3 per contest.

The Cougars were led by quarterback Zach Wilson, who finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Wilson passed for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns and was responsible for 264 points this season for BYU.

On January 1, Wilson announced he was foregoing his senior year at BYU to declare for the NFL Draft.

Protecting Wilson was Consensus All-American left tackle Brady Christensen, who became BYU’s first AP First-Team All-American since Luke Staley in 2001.

The 2020 season was the first BYU football team since 1975 to not face a Power 5/BCS/Alliance program. Before COVID-19 altered schedules nationwide, BYU had six games scheduled against Power 5 programs.

Final AP Top 25 Poll of 2020 College Football Season

1. Alabama (13-0)

2. Ohio State (7-1)

3. Clemson (10-2)

4. Texas A&M (9-1)

5. Notre Dame (10-2)

6. Oklahoma (9-2)

7. Georgia (8-2)

8. Cincinnati (9-1)

9. Iowa State (9-3)

10. Northwestern (7-2)

11. BYU (11-1)

12. Indiana (6-2)

13. Florida (8-4)

14. Coastal Carolina (11-1)

15. Louisiana (10-1)

16. Iowa (6-2)

17. Liberty (10-1)

18. North Carolina (8-4)

19. Texas (7-3)

20. Oklahoma State (8-3)

21. USC (5-1)

22. Miami (8-3)

23. Ball State (7-1)

24. San Jose State (7-1)

25. Buffalo (6-1)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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