Penn State will open its 2017 campaign just outside the top 5.
The Nittany Lions were ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press’ preseason top-25 poll, which was released Monday afternoon.
Penn State, which landed at No. 6 in the Amway Coaches Poll a few weeks ago, sits directly behind Clemson and ahead of Oklahoma.
Like the coaches poll, the preseason AP poll has a top-heavy Big Ten presence. Ohio State ranks No. 2, Wisconsin came in at No. 9, and Michigan sits at No. 11.
Alabama, Florida State and Southern California are Nos. 1, 3 and 4, respectively.
Of course, preseason polls aren’t a reliable indicator of future success. Eleven teams from 2016’s AP preseason poll weren’t even ranked by the end of the season. Penn State was the highest-ranked team — No. 7 — in the final AP poll that wasn’t on the preseason list.
The Nittany Lions open their 2017 season on Sept. 2 against Akron.