Make it three of a kind for the Utes, as they are ranked No. 16 in the first College Football Playoff Poll of 2016. The Utes are also ranked 16 in both the AP and Coaches Poll. The Utes are one of a very small number of teams, and the only Pac-12 team, to be ranked in all of the College Football Playoff Polls, since the poll started.
Utah is one of four Pac-12 teams ranked, with Washington at No. 5 (WTF, Texas A&M!?!?), Colorado at No. 15, just ahead of the Utes, and Wazzu at No. 25. I think the SEC bias is real, and shows in this poll, BUT, the good news is I think it’ll sort itself out come the final selections in December.
What does this mean for the Utes? Well, it means they have an outside chance of sneaking into that final four. The No. 16 slot has proven to be a good one in the past, as that’s where Ohio State debuted two years ago, and Oklahoma debuted at 15 last year. If Utah wins out, and wins the Pac-12 Championship, they will be in the conversation as a Power 5 champion. They need Washington to keep winning and to be in that top four area when they would meet again in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Of course, some help would need to be had with some teams losing too, but I’m not sure we would see two teams from the same league get in. Previous committees have viewed the conference title games as play-in games, essentially, and it’ll be interesting to see if this current committee does the same.
What are your initial thoughts on the first CFP poll?