Coming off a 10-3 season and a head coaching change, Fresno State enters the 2022 season with the highest expectations in the Mountain West among voters in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll.
Fresno State did not crack the Top 25 in the first AP Poll of the season – which opens for Fresno State at home on Sep. 1 against Cal Poly.
But the Bulldogs received several votes in the poll, placing them at No. 31 in the nation.
The highest ranking Fresno State received was at No. 20 by two voters: Steve Virgen, who covers New Mexico for the Albuquerque Journal, and Mike Berardino, who covers Notre Dame for NDInsider.com.
In all, nine of the 63 AP voters ranked Fresno State in the poll.
Four other Mountain West teams received votes in addition to the Bulldogs: Boise State, Air Force, San Diego State and Utah State.
Fresno State will play Boise State and San Diego State this season.
The only ranked opponent the Bulldogs are scheduled to play is USC, coming in at No. 14 to start the season.
Despite the high ranking heading into 2022, the Trojans did not finish in the Top 25 last year as they limped to a 4-8 record.
Expectations for the Sep. 17 matchup in The Coliseum are high as Lincoln Riley shocked the college football world when he left Oklahoma to take the head coach job at USC, bringing quarterback Caleb Williams with him.
On the other side, Fresno State brought back head coach Jeff Tedford after Kalen DeBoer left for Washington.
Tedford’s Bulldogs will be led by sixth-year senior Jake Haener, who threw for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns last year and was named the Preseason Mountain West Player of the Year last month.
Photo: Fresno State Athletics