Even with a win, Penn State couldn’t make a move up in the latest polls.
The Nittany Lions (3-0) remained steady at No. 13 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll, which was released Sunday afternoon. Voters were clearly not impressed by James Franklin’s squad, as it slipped past Pitt 17-10 Saturday — despite entering the game as 17-point favorites.
Although the Nittany Lions didn’t drop in the rankings, their voting points dropped from 781 last week to 726 Sunday, giving them a tie at No. 13 with Wisconsin. No team ranked ahead of Penn State lost on Saturday, so opportunity was limited to move up in the AP Poll.
In fact, the only change in the polls ahead of Penn State was No. 10 Utah switching spots with No. 11 Michigan. (The Utes were No. 11 last week, with the Wolverines at No. 10.)
As it stands, 247 Sports currently projects the Nittany Lions to take on Auburn in the Outback Bowl. That bowl will kickoff at 1 p.m. on Jan. 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
It may not be the New Year’s Six bowl that fans want. But it still sure beats the chilly confines of the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City.
Regardless, it’s incredibly early in the season and those projections might change a dozen times between now and then. But, as we like to remind readers, the AP Poll offers a nice barometer to how experts are currently feeling about the Nittany Lions, before the College Football Playoff committee releases its first set of rankings Nov. 5.
The committee’s rankings are the ones that really matter. But, with nearly two months until then, the AP Poll has some value — although it’s worth reminding Penn State was unranked in Week 7 of the 2016 season and, a month later, was a top-10 team. A lot can happen in a short period of time.
In the AP Poll, Penn State remains in good position when it comes to the rest of the conference. Ohio State is still the Big Ten team to beat as it came in at No. 6 — followed by Michigan (No. 11), Penn State (T-No. 13), Wisconsin (T-No. 13) and Iowa (No. 18).
Maryland and Michigan State fell out of the top 25. The Spartans and Golden Gophers both received votes; the Terps received none.
The next AP poll will be released 2 p.m. Sept. 22.
The full top-25 rankings are below:
1. Clemson 1,545
2. Alabama 1,488
3. Georgia 1,386
4. LSU 1,339
5. Oklahoma 1,310
6. Ohio State 1,292
7. Notre Dame 1,099
8. Auburn 1,079
9. Florida 959
10. Utah 929
11. Michigan 917
12. Texas 888
T-13. Penn State 726
T-13. Wisconsin 726
15. UCF 703
16. Oregon 670
17. Texas A&M 665
18. Iowa 539
19. Washington State 452
20. Boise State 277
21. Virginia 252
22. Washington 183
23. Cal 164
24. Arizona State 156
25. TCU 104
Others receiving votes: Kansas State 91, Oklahoma State 51, Army 50, Michigan State 37, Memphis 26, Wake Forest 14, Brigham Young 12, Iowa State 7, Temple 7, Mississippi State 4, Appalachian State 2, Minnesota 1