SALT LAKE CITY — Utah closed out the regular season Saturday with a dominant 45-15 win over the visiting Colorado Buffaloes on senior day and to claim the South Division title in the Pac-12.
The win also allowed Utah to move up again in the national rankings.
Utah moved up to No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and in the USA Today Coaches Poll, up one spot from last week. Utah’s win over Colorado, its eighth-straight win of the season, and Alabama falling to rival Auburn in a high-scoring finale helped the Utes move up in the rankings a week before conference championship weekend.
The Utes remain the conference favorite and only team capable from the Pac-12 to claim a College Football Playoff berth. Utah leads the conference in the rankings and is the only program in the Pac-12 to finish the regular season with 11 wins. Utah was the conference’s preseason pick to win the Pac-12 title.
Utah currently has a 27% chance to claim a playoff spot, according to FiveThirtyEight, but Oklahoma is giving the Utes chase and will be a strong contender for the final spot with a 56% chance. Utah has a 54% chance to beat Oregon in the conference title game.
Oregon, which is ranked No. 13 this week in both polls, will meet up with the Utes in the conference’s title game on Friday. The Ducks are the only team from the Pac-12 North Division ranked this season. Joining Utah and Oregon in the rankings is USC at No. 24. The Trojans had a bye to conclude the regular season and was in contention for the Pac-12 title game had Utah lost its final game of the season.
No other teams from the Pac-12 are ranked this week, though Arizona State is receiving votes in the AP poll and Coaches Poll, and California and Washington are receiving votes in the AP poll.
Voters in both polls stayed with LSU as the No. 1 overall team after the Tigers dismantled Texas A&M 50-7 Saturday. Ohio State, which is the No. 1 overall team in the College Football Playoff rankings, checks in at No. 2 after the Buckeyes defeated Michigan 56-27 at the Big House.
Voters rounded out their top five programs with Clemson at No. 3, Georgia at No. 4 and Utah at No. 5. Clemson, along with Ohio State and LSU, remain the only undefeated teams left in the country and the three teams projected to fill out three spots in the playoff.
The penultimate College Football Playoff rankings of the season will be released Tuesday at 5 p.m. MST on ESPN.