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Utes move up to No. 21 in AP Top 25 rankings following Week 1 win

Utah Utes linebacker Devin Lloyd (0) makes a diving interception during the season opener at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.

Utah Utes linebacker Devin Lloyd (0) makes a diving interception during the season opener at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY โ€” The first week of college football is in the books, and the rankings can now reflect actual games being played.

Those rankings had the Utes move up to No. 21 in the Associated Press Top 25, up three spots from its preseason rankings at No. 24, following Utah's 40-17 season-opening win over Weber State. The win over the FCS powerhouse may look better after three teams from the Big Sky upset their FBS opponents in Week 1, but Utah is still looking to clean up its mistakes.

Utah also jumped up to No. 18 in the USA Today Coaches Poll after not being ranked in the organizations preseason poll.

The Utes remain ranked ahead of a hotly-contested rivalry matchup against BYU on Saturday night. Utah is looking to extend their winning streak that spans a decade to 10 straight wins โ€” a feat no team has been able to accomplish in the long history of the series.

Joining Utah in the rankings from the Pac-12 is No. 12 Oregon, No. 14 USC, No. 16 UCLA, who claimed a big win at home against a previously ranked No. 16 LSU team, and No. 23 Arizona State. Oregon is the lone team to represent the North Division, which went 1-5 over the weekend, after a "mediocre" Week 1 showing, according to Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.

Most egregious from Week 1 was an upset from Montana over previously ranked No. 20 Washington. As expected, the Huskies dropped out of the poll, though rankings should be the least of their worries as the team prepares to take on Michigan in Week 2. No other teams from the Pac-12 received votes.

Locally, BYU, which saw a Week 1 win over Pac-12 opponent Arizona, received votes in the Week 2 rankings. The Cougars also received votes in the Coaches Poll and would unofficially check in at No. 31.

Atop the AP Top 25 is reigning national champion Alabama, who won 44-13 over a ranked Miami team. Despite losing much of its starting unit from the title team, including quarterback Mac Jones, Alabama looks as dangerous as ever as the consensus No. 1 favorite. The Crimson Tide secured 59 of the 63 possible first-place votes. Georgia is the only other team to receive first-place votes with four.

Behind the Crimson Tide in the rankings is No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Oklahoma, and No. 5 Texas A&M. Georgia claimed a win over Clemson in the first week of play, though neither team managed to score points on offense in the low-scoring affair. The only touchdown of the game came on a Christopher Smith 74-yard pick-six score.

In Week 2 of play, there are two games featuring two ranked opponents, including in-state rivalry No. 10 Iowa traveling to Ames, Iowa, to face No. 9 Iowa State in the ESPN College GameDay matchup, and No. 12 Oregon traveling to take on No. 3 Ohio State in a much-heralded matchup of two teams from conferences in the newly dubbed Alliance.

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