For the second straight season, Penn State has lost back-to-back games — and has tumbled in the polls as a result.
The Nittany Lions dropped 10 spots to No. 18 in the most recent Associated Press Top 25 Poll, which was released Sunday afternoon. Michigan State went from being unranked to No. 24.
Nine teams leap-frogged Penn State after its 21-17 loss to Michigan State. They included Texas A&M,. N.C. State, Kentucky, Oregon, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan and LSU.
But the Nittany Lions weren’t the only previously ranked top-10 team to suffer a loss. Georgia, West Virginia and Washington also fell — although all three teams remain ranked ahead of PSU.
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The AP rankings don’t actually figure into the playoff rankings, although they do tend to offer a sneak peek at where the selection committee may rank the teams. The first edition of the playoff rankings will be released Oct. 30.
As it currently stands, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm is still projecting Penn State in the Rose Bowl, where he predicts it will face Washington once again. Another loss, however, and something like the Outback Bowl might be more likely.
Based on the poll, Ohio State remains the team to beat in the conference. It was ranked No. 2 on Sunday, followed by five other Big Ten teams in No. 6 Michigan, No. 18 Penn State, No. 19 Iowa, No. 23 Wisconsin and No. 24 Michigan State. Maryland also received votes.
The full top-25 rankings are listed below:
2. Ohio State
4. Notre Dame
13. West Virginia
16. N.C. State
17. Texas A&M
18. Penn State
21. South Florida
22. Mississippi State
24. Michigan State
25. Washington State
Others receiving votes: Stanford 71, San Diego St. 53, Southern Cal 53, Appalachian St. 51, Colorado 49, Utah St. 38, Miami 38, Utah 33, Duke 17, Texas Tech 8, Fresno St. 7, Houston 3, Maryland 2, Virginia 2.