Besides Utah putting up a strong fight but eventually falling to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, not much went right for the Pac-12 this bowl season. The Pac-12’s struggles were represented well in the final USA TODAY AFCA Coaches Poll of the season, which was released on Tuesday.
Not surprisingly, the Pac-12 Champion Utah Utes led the way at No. 12 after being docked one spot for their Rose Bowl loss. While a lot can happen between now and next season, Kyle Wittingham’s Utes should give Colorado all it can handle in 2022.
Oregon, which Colorado hosts in November, dropped six spots in the poll to a season-low No. 21 ranking following its loss to Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.
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Washington State, Arizona State, Oregon State and UCLA all lost (or withdrew) their respective bowl game and none received any votes in the final coaches poll. The Buffs will face all these teams minus WSU next season.
Two of Colorado’s three nonconference opponents missed the top 25 but did receive votes; Air Force landed 42 while Minnesota had 23. The Falcons and Gophers have both beaten CU in recent years and should provide a tough early schedule for the Buffs. At least Mike Sanford and Clay Patterson have switched sides.
TCU, the Buffs’ season opener, did not receive any votes.
But again, a lot can happen between now and September.