Penn State Football

Did Penn State move up in the top-25 rankings after the beatdown of Pitt?

Fans celebrate after Penn State defeated Pitt 51-6 Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at Heinz Field.
Fans celebrate after Penn State defeated Pitt 51-6 Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at Heinz Field. psheehan@centredaily.com

With chants of “We Are” echoing across Heinz Field after the end of Saturday night’s game, it was clear Penn State earned the result it wanted in the 51-6 win over Pitt.

And, with it, the Nittany Lions got the accompanying bump in the Sunday polls.

Penn State moved up two spots to No. 11 in the most recent Associated Press Top 25 Poll, which was released Sunday afternoon. The bump was a bit of a surprise, considering all of the teams in front of the Nittany Lions also won.

The two teams in front of Penn State last week — Virginia Tech and LSU — both fell back behind the Nittany Lions this week, despite beating both of their opponents by double digits.

Voters must not have been impressed with their schedule difficulty. LSU shut out FCS school Southeastern Louisiana 31-0, and Virginia Tech thumped FCS school William & Mary 62-17. LSU moved from No. 11 to No. 12, and the Hokies fell to No. 13 from No. 12.

Again, however, although the AP Poll offers a nice preview of where the College Football Playoff selection committee may rank the teams, there’s way too much football left to be played to really glean anything worthwhile from these rankings.

In 2016, Penn State was unranked in Week 7. Four weeks later, it was No. 9.

So, No. 11 this early? That’s not too shabby.

Based on the poll, Ohio State is still the team to beat in the conference. It was the highest-ranked Big Ten team at No. 4, followed by No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 11 Penn State, No. 19 Michigan and No. 25 Michigan State. Maryland and Iowa also received votes.

The full rankings are listed below:

1. Alabama (54 first-place votes)

2. Clemson (6)

3. Georgia

4. Ohio State

5. Oklahoma

6. Wisconsin (1)

7. Auburn

8. Notre Dame

9. Stanford

10. Washington

11. Penn State

12. LSU

13. Virginia Tech

14. West Virginia

15. TCU

16. Mississippi State

17. Boise State

18. UCF

19. Michigan

20. Oregon

21. Miami (Fla.)

22. USC

23. Arizona State

24. Oklahoma State

25. Michigan State

Others receiving votes: Utah 92, Texas A&M 90, Boston College 45, Houston 32, Maryland 30, Colorado 25, Iowa 23, Kentucky 19, Duke 10, NC State 9, Mississippi 5, Hawaii 5, Washington St. 4, South Florida 3, South Carolina 2, Florida St. 1

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