SALT LAKE CITY — With less than two weeks to go before Utah kicks off the season on the road against in-state rival BYU, the Utes will enter the season ranked in the Top 25.
On Monday, Utah was voted No. 14 in the Associated Press’ preseason Top 25 Poll, which is the first time since the 2009 season that Utah has been included in the preseason Top 25. Utah entered the season that year at No. 19 and finished the season one spot higher at No. 18.
Utah was ranked No. 15 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll that was released on Aug. 1.
The Utes, which were picked to win the Pac-12 this season by voting media, is one of five programs from the Pac-12 included in the preseason honor. Oregon, though, will represent the conference with the highest ranking at No. 11, followed by Washington at No. 13, Washington State at No. 23 and Stanford at No. 25.
The Utes are the only team from the South Division of the Pac-12 included in the poll. It's the first season since 2001, when Pete Carroll's first season as the program's head coach, that USC has not been included in the preseason poll.
Clemson topped the preseason poll as the No. 1 team following its national championship win last season. Behind quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the Tigers remain the team to beat but are followed closely behind by 2018 runner-up Alabama at No. 2. Rounding out the Top 5 is Georgia at No. 3, Oklahoma at No. 4 and Ohio State at No. 5.
The Big Ten leads the nation with seven teams ranked in the Top 25, followed by the SEC (six), Pac-12 (five), Big 12 (three) and the ACC (two).
The AP Top 25 Poll will be released each Sunday at 12 p.m. when the season starts, except for the first weekend of college football when the poll will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 3. The College Football Playoff Selection Committee, the official rankings of college football, will release its Top 25 later in the season on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. MT.
College football action kicks off on Saturday with No. 8 Florida taking on Miami in one of only two games that weekend. Week 1 begins Thursday and will continue through Labor Day weekend.
The biggest matchup of Week 1 play features No. 11 Oregon and No. 16 Auburn in a neutral game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It's the only game featuring two ranked opponents.