The one bad thing about beating ranked teams is that it often means those vanquished foes fall out of the rankings. But at the same time, it also leaves more room for Arizona to keep climbing the polls.
The Wildcats have jumped to No. 16 in the latest Associated Press Top 25, up three spots from last week, after beating then-No. 16 Utah (which is no longer ranked) 42-18 on Saturday. It was their fourth win this season over an AP-ranked team, most since 1989, though three of those teams are no longer in the Top 25.
It’s the highest AP ranking for Arizona (8-3, 6-2 Pac-12) since Sept. 20 and matches its spot in the College Football Playoff rankings, which will get updated against Tuesday.
Arizona is one of four Pac-12 teams in the Top 25, behind No. 4 Washington—which moved up one spot—as well as No. 6 Oregon and No. 15 Oregon State. Washington (11-0, 8-0) has clinched a spot in the Pac-12 title game, while Arizona and Oregon (10-1, 7-1) are fighting for the second berth.
Two-time defending national champ Georgia (11-0) remains No. 1, with 61 of 62 first-place votes, with No. 2 Ohio State (11-0) getting the other first-place nod. Also 11-0 are No. 3 Michigan and No. 5 Florida State.
The UA is a 10-point favorite for its regular season finale at ASU, the largest spread for the Wildcats in 15 years. A win in the Territorial Cup and an Oregon loss to Oregon State (8-3, 5-3) will put the UA in the Pac-12 final for the first time since 2014.