<strong>LOGAN–</strong> For just the third time in school history, Utah State football ended a season nationally ranked as it is listed 16th in the final Associated Press (AP) poll and 17th in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll that were released Tuesday. USU also finished the year ranked 22nd in the final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings.
In the AP poll, Utah State received 456 votes, up from 379 votes in the last poll released on Dec. 2 when the Aggies were ranked 18th nationally. In the coaches’ poll, USU garnered 444 votes in the final poll after getting 334 votes in its previous poll when the Aggies were ranked 20th.
Utah State ended the 2012 season appearing in the AP poll four-straight weeks for the first time in school history, bettering the 1960 team that was ranked 18th and 19th nationally in back-to-back weeks. Dating back to 1991 when the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll began, the 2012 season marked USU’s first-ever ranking in that poll. USU had also never appeared in the BCS standings prior to this year.
For Utah State, it is the first time it ended a season nationally ranked since 1972 when that team finished with an 8-3 record and was ranked 19th in the final United Press International (UPI) poll. The only other time USU ended a season nationally ranked was in 1961 when that team posted a 9-1-1 record and was ranked 10th in both the final AP and UPI polls.
Prior to the 2012 season, the last time a Utah State team was nationally ranked was in 1978 when that Aggie team started the year with a 5-0 record and was 18th in the country in the UPI poll. As for the AP poll, it is the first time USU has been nationally ranked since 1961. Overall, it is just the seventh time in school history, including the fourth time this year that USU has been nationally ranked in the weekly AP poll.
Prior to this season, the last time Utah State received votes in any poll was at the end of the 1993 campaign when it garnered one vote in the final AP poll after defeating Ball State, 42-33, in the Las Vegas Bowl II to finish the year with a 7-5 record.
Nationally, Utah State is one of just 17 teams to finish the 2012 season with 11 or more wins and USU was one of just four teams across the country who did not lose a league game joining Ohio State (8-0) from the Big Ten and Kent State (8-0) and Northern Illinois (8-0) from the Mid-American Conference.
Utah State also finished the 2012 season winning its final seven games, which is tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the nation and tied for the third-longest winning streak in school history.
Utah State had its most successful season in school history in 2012 as it went 11-2 and set school records for wins (11) and home wins (6), while recording just its second bowl win in school history with a 41-15 victory against Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936 and just its third in school history joining the 1921 and 1936 teams that both won Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles.
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