SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah football program became bowl eligible with a 21-3 win over the visiting Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday. The win also moved the Utes up in the national rankings Sunday.
Utah moved up to No. 12 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, up one spot from its previous ranking of No. 13 last week, and in the USA Today Coaches Poll, two spots higher than its previous ranking of No. 14 the week prior. The Utes held the Sun Devils to only 136 total yards of offense, including only 25 passing yards on the night, in a vital win for the South Division standings.
The Utes are joined by two other teams from the Pac-12 ranked this week, including No. 11 Oregon, who leads the conference as the top-ranked program after claiming a come-from-behind 35-31 win over Washington. The Ducks have all but locked up the North Division and are expected to appear in the Pac-12 Championship game.
Arizona State, which was previously ranked No. 17 in the both polls, is the only other program in the conference ranked this week at No. 24, though Washington is receiving votes. Washington, which has suffered three losses this season in conference play, dropped out of the rankings.
Voters in the AP poll kept the same five teams in the top spots, but shuffled them around a bit, with Alabama staying put at No. 1. The Crimson Tide also lead the Coaches Poll as the top team with 44 first-place votes.
Behind Alabama in the AP poll is No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Clemson and No. 5 Oklahoma. Clemson was jumped by Ohio State after the Buckeyes defeated Northwestern 52-3. The Coaches Poll has Clemson at No. 2, LSU at No. 3 and Ohio State at No. 4.
The upcoming week features three games where both opponents are ranked, including Ohio State welcoming No. 13 Wisconsin to Columbus, Ohio. Wisconsin dropped in the rankings after falling to Illinois on a last-second field goal.
Other games featuring ranked opponents include No. 9 Auburn traveling to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to take on LSU, and No. 8 Notre Dame traveling to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to take on a No. 19 Michigan program that is struggling to stay afloat in the Big Ten.