SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The path to the playoffs is a little clearer for the Utah football team.
In the first College Football Playoff Poll released Tuesday night, the Utes come in at #8 in the nation.
Utah trails #7 Oregon, #6 Georgia, #5 Clemson, #4 Penn State, #3 Alabama, #2 LSU and #1 Ohio State. Oklahoma is 9th, while Florida comes in at #10.
Many of the teams ahead of Utah play each other in the final weeks of the season, including LSU vs. Alabama and Ohio State vs. Penn State. Georgia could also face either LSU or Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
This is Utah’s highest ranking since the playoff poll was first released back in 2014. The Utes previous highest ranking was 10th in 2015.
“It’s nice for our players to be recognized for what they’ve accomplished so far this season, but this team completely understands there is still a lot of football left and more work to be done,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. “Our guys have done a great job all season long of not looking past anyone and keeping their sole focus on the next opponent. Our full attention now turns to the UCLA Bruins and we look forward to being back in front of our home fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium.”
Utah is also ranked 8th in the latest Associated Press poll.
Utah is on a bye week before hosting UCLA on November 16th. The Utes then play at Arizona and host Colorado to round out the regular season.
If the Utes win out, they will play in the Pac-12 Championship Game December 6th at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
The Utes (8-1) have won five straight games since its only loss of the season to USC back in September.
The top four teams at the end of the season will make it to the college football playoffs. The rankings will be updated each Tuesday night.