SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – With its biggest expectations perhaps in school history, the Utah football team has received its highest preseason ranking ever, coming in at #7 in the first Associated Press Poll.

The Utes, who were ranked #8 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, are coming off a 10-4 season in which they won their first Pac-12 Conference championship and made their first Rose Bowl appearance.

But the Utes aren’t paying too much attention to the preseason rankings.

“I mean I kind of learned my lesson from last year not to look on Twitter during camp,” said wide receiver Solomon Enis. “But you know it’s humbling, we appreciate it. Just the recognition of all the hard work we put in, but we still haven’t played a game yet.” 

“It doesn’t matter to me doesn’t mean much it’s just preseason,” said quarterback Cam Rising. “We got to just focus on what we got and keep getting better every day.“ 

Utah returns 17 starters, including All-Pac-12 first team quarterback Cam Rising and running back Tavion Thomas, as well as first team cornerback Clark Phillips III.

“Whether we’re not ranked or were highly we don’t care,” added head coach Kyle Whittingham. “I still have the opinion that you shouldn’t even have a ranking until a month into the season at the earliest probably week five or six before you get some perspective.”

The BYU football team, which was unranked in the Coaches Poll, was ranked #25 in the AP Preseason Poll. The Cougars were 10-3 last season and return 33 players with starting experience.

BYU kicks off the 2022 season September 3rd at South Florida, while the Utes open the year at Florida.

Alabama was ranked #1 in the AP Poll, followed by Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish are one of four ranked opponents on the BYU schedule, along with #10 Baylor, #11 Oregon and #19 Arkansas.

The Utes will play two teams ranked in the preseason poll, #11 Oregon and #14 USC.

For the entire AP Poll, click here.