The final Associated Press Top 25 football rankings came out Tuesday morning and, of course, undefeated Clemson mans the top spot following its 44-16 destruction of Alabama in the national title game.
But Fresno State fans will be happy to know that the AP voters ranked the 12-2 Bulldogs in the No. 18 spot — sandwiched between No. 17 Penn State and No. 19 Army.
That’s the highest year-end ranking in Fresno State history.
And, in fact, Fresno State is the third-highest ranked team west of the Rockies, trailing only No. 10 Washington State and No. 13 Washington.
Three Mountain West Teams in Top 25
The Bulldogs lead a trio of Top 25 teams from the Mountain West in what was a banner year for the conference.
Utah State, which finished 11-2 after destroying North Texas, 52-13, in the New Mexico Bowl is ranked No. 22, one spot ahead of 10-3 Boise State.
The Bulldogs won four straight games, — highlighted by edging Boise State in overtime of the conference title game and defeating Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl — to finish the year on a high note.
Previous Top 25 AP Rankings for Bulldogs
Fresno State finished No. 22 in 2004 under coach Pat Hill. In the Jim Sweeney era, they were ranked No. 24 in 1992.
Big Shoes for Bulldogs to Fill
Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford will go into the 2019 campaign having to replace two standouts juniors on defense, as well as two-year starting quarterback Marcus McMaryion and standout receiver Keesean Johnson.
Linebacker Jeff Allison, the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, has declared for the NFL draft. And so has defensive back Mike Bell.
USC, Minnesota on 2019 Schedule
The highlights of Fresno State’s 2019 schedule include nonconference games at USC and a home date against Minnesota.