BYU is ranked in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 college football poll for the first time since 2009, landing at No. 25, but recent history shows Cougar fans shouldn’t get too excited about how their team will finish after the 2022 season concludes.

That’s because the last three teams that were ranked No. 25 by the AP — Arizona State in 2021, Tennessee in 2020 and Stanford in 2019 — finished those seasons unranked and with disappointing records.

“So why don’t we just do it after the first game? Because I guess it is just a money grab or something. … Because you see schools that are like, seven on it, and then they are not on it the rest of the time. I feel like the AP should, just, after the first game, let’s figure it out.” — BYU tight end Isaac Rex on preseason rankings.

ASU went 8-5, including a loss to BYU in Provo; Tennessee went 3-7 and Stanford went 4-8. That’s not good.

When BYU last cracked the preseason media poll, the Cougars were No. 20 to start the 2009 season because they had finished No. 25 in the final poll of the 2008 season. Voters remembered that, apparently.

But recent performance didn’t help them this year. They went a combined 21-4 the past two seasons, with a No. 11 final ranking in 2020 and No. 19 final ranking last year.

They finished the 2009 season — Max Hall’s senior year — with an 11-2 record and No. 12 ranking.

So there’s hope.

The Cougars open the 2022 season on Sept. 3 at South Florida, and will obviously have to win that tougher-than-it-looks game at Raymond James Stadium to keep their ranking. Beyond that, BYU faces No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 10 Baylor and No. 11 Oregon. It isn’t scheduled to play No. 7 Utah this year.

Count colorful BYU tight end Isaac Rex among those who don’t put a lot of stock in preseason polls.

“To be honest, those things are annoying anyways because they change after the first week,” Rex said after the initial rankings came out. “So why don’t we just do it after the first game? Because I guess it is just a money grab or something. … Because you see schools that are like, seven on it, and then they are not on it the rest of the time. I feel like the AP should, just, after the first game, let’s figure it out.”

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In the last 15 seasons, nine teams that started the season ranked No. 25 finished the season unranked. That incudes Texas A&M in 2007, Pitt in 2008, Kansas in 2009, West Virginia in 2010, Washington in 201`4, Tennessee in 2017 and the three teams already mentioned from the last three years.

Will the Cougars break the streak of preseason No. 25 futility?

Maybe they can take solace in the fact that LSU was picked 25th in 2018 and finished at No. 6. Same goes for USC in 2011.

In 2016, Florida — which hosts the No. 7 Utes a couple hours after South Florida hosts the No. 25 Cougars a week from Saturday — finished at No. 14 after a No. 25 early ranking.

Tennessee, which has to own the record for most No. 25 preseason rankings, finished No. 22 in 2015. Oregon finished No. 9 in 2013, while Louisville ended up at No. 13 in 2012.

What does it all mean? 

Probably nothing. Rex is most likely right.

But one thing is certain: If BYU drops its opener, it won’t be ranked on Sept. 10 when future Big 12 rival Baylor rolls into Provo for a long-awaited rematch of last year’s 38-24 drubbing of BYU in Waco.

Where teams ranked No. 25 in Associated Press Top 25 poll finished 

Year — Preseason No. 25 — Final ranking

2022 — BYU — TBD

2021 — Arizona State — Unranked

2020 — Tennessee — Unranked 

2019 — Stanford — Unranked

2018 — LSU — No. 6

2017 — Tennessee — Unranked

2016 — Florida — No. 14

2015 — Tennessee — No. 22

2014 — Washington — Unranked

2013 — Oregon — No. 9

2012 — Louisville — No. 13

2011 — USC — No. 6

2010 — West Virginia — Unranked

2009 — Kansas — Unranked

2008 — Pittsburgh — Unranked

2007 — Texas A&M — Unranked