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)
4. Ohio State
6. Wisconsin (1)
8. Notre Dame
11. Penn State
13. Virginia Tech
14. West Virginia
16. Mississippi State
17. Boise State
21. Miami (Fla.)
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