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Arizona football finishes 11th in final Associated Press poll

Highest season-ending ranking since 1998

arizona-wildcats-football-associated-press-top25-final-poll-pac12-big12-2024-jedd-fisch-bonus Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 college football season officially ended Monday night when Michigan beat Washington in the championship game in Houston, ending the Huskies’ FBS-leading 21-game win streak.

The longest run of consecutive victories in the country now belongs to Michigan, which has won 15 in a row heading into 2024. And with the second-longest behind the Wolverines, with a 7-game streak, is Arizona, which will go into next season as one of the top teams to watch as the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams.

Based on where it ended 2023, the odds of the Wildcats being included in the 12-team playoff is pretty good.

Arizona (10-3) landed at No. 11 in the final Associated Press Top 25, up three spots from the end of the regular season. It’s the program’s highest overall ranking in nine years and tied for the second-highest in a final poll, behind the No. 4 finish following the 1998 season when the Wildcats went 12-1.

This marks only the eighth time in school history the UA has been in the final Top 25, the last time coming in 2014, and that achievement unlocks a $25,000 bonus for head coach Jedd Fisch. The bonus would have been $50,000 had Arizona finished in the top 10, but its 861 total vote points were far behind the 1,006 for No. 10 Ohio State.

The UA is the highest-ranked of the schools that will be part its next conference, the Big 12. Other Big 12 schools in the final poll were No. 16 Oklahoma State (10-4), No. 18 Kansas State (9-4) and No. 23 Kansas (9-4), while 9-4 West Virginia and 8-5 Utah also received votes.

Among members of the soon-to-be-defunct Pac-12, Washington (14-1) finished second while Oregon (12-2) tied for sixth.