The 2021 college football season was a historic one in the state of Utah.
For the first time ever, BYU, Utah and Utah State all finished the same season ranked in the Associated Press final rankings, which were released Monday night.
The Utes led the trio, coming in at No. 12, followed by the Cougars at No. 19 and the Aggies at No. 24.
Utah (10-4) dropped two spots after a 48-45 loss to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, BYU (10-3) fell seven spots following a 31-28 loss to UAB in the Independence Bowl, while Utah State (11-3) jumped into the rankings for the first time this season — they were the top program among other teams receiving votes heading into bowl season — after beating Oregon State 24-13 in the LA Bowl.
This is the first time Utah State has finished in the AP top 25 the same year as either Utah or BYU. The Cougars and Utes have finished in the AP top 25 in the same season three other times — 2009 (BYU No. 12, Utah No. 18), 2008 (Utah No. 2, BYU No. 25) and 1994 (Utah No. 10, BYU No. 18).
This is Utah’s highest finish in the AP ranks since 2008, when the Utes ended the year No. 2 following a Sugar Bowl win over Alabama.
It is BYU’s second straight season finishing the year in the top 20, after the Cougars ended the 2020 season at No. 11.
Utah State finished in the top 25 for the third time in the past decade, including 2018 (No. 22) and 2012 (No. 16).
Georgia, a 33-18 winner over Alabama in Monday night’s national championship game, finished No. 1, while the Crimson Tide came in at No. 2. The top five were rounded out by Michigan at No. 3, Cincinnati at No. 4 and Baylor at No. 5.