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Bulldogs Crack the Top 25 in Both Final Football Polls

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Jordan Mims celebrates an LA Bowl victory. The Bulldogs finished 24th in the nation in both polls. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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Nearly three weeks after its bowl victory and history-making turnaround, Fresno State officially finished 24th in both the AP and coaches polls.

The Bulldogs defeated Washington State, 29-6, in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Dec. 17.

Monday night, Georgia — another university claiming the Bulldogs monicker and also playing at SoFi Stadium — concluded the college football season with a 65-7 thrashing of TCU in the College Football Playoff championship game.

Fresno State was one of three “Group of 5” teams in the final Top 25 rankings — Tulane finished 9th in both polls; Troy finished 19th in the AP poll and 20th in the coaches poll.

The Bulldogs’ last previous final AP Top 25 came after their 12-2 season in 2018 earned them a No. 18 ranking.

A Roller Coaster 2022

The Bulldogs’ season seemed to be in jeopardy after back-to-back losses versus Oregon State and at USC. The latter saw the loss to injury to star QB Jake Haener and safety Evan Williams.

The low point came a week later, losing to an unproven UConn team on the road.

A loss to Boise State was the fourth loss in a row, and at 1-4, Fresno State seemed destined for a disappointing year. Things turned around with wins against San Jose State and New Mexico.

Haener returned to face San Diego State. He led the Bulldogs to an incredible last-minute victory, returning the spark and optimism from the Red Wave fan base.

Fresno State never lost again. The team concluded the year with nine straight victories, including a Mountain West title game victory on the road, avenging the loss to Boise State.

And, that made Fresno State the first FBS team to get to 10 wins after dropping four of the first five.

The Road Ahead

After losing many of their key contributors, particularly on offense, the Bulldogs have reloaded by signing a big class of recruits with an emphasis on community college transfers.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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