Penn State, one of 10 undefeated teams left in the nation, is climbing its way to a special season.
The Nittany Lions (7-0) moved up one spot to No. 6 in the latest Associated Press Top-25 Poll, which was released Sunday afternoon. Penn State survived a late rally by Michigan on Saturday night in a 28-21 win, played in front of the fourth-largest crowd in Beaver Stadium history (110,669).
This is now the 49th straight week that Penn State is ranked in the AP Top 25, making it the country’s fifth-longest streak behind Alabama (188), Ohio State (123), Clemson (77) and Oklahoma (52).
James Franklin’s squad jumped one team this week in the Wisconsin Badgers, which fell seven spots to No. 13 after one of the biggest upsets of the college season. Illinois slipped past Wisconsin on a last-second 39-yard field goal to win 24-23.
Penn State now has 1,224 voting points; it had 1,129 last week.
As it stands, both 247 Sports and CBS Sports now agree on the Nittany Lions’ projected bowl destination — which was upgraded from a week ago. PSU is currently slotted by those two outlets to play in the Rose Bowl, which will kick off at 5 p.m. Jan. 1.
And both have the No. 11 Oregon Ducks penciled in as the opponent.
Obviously, it’s too early to take too much of these projections seriously. But the point is that Penn State is clearly in a good spot right now. As we like to remind readers every week, the AP Poll offers a nice barometer to how experts are currently feeling about Penn State, before the playoff committee releases its first set of rankings Nov. 5.
The committee’s rankings are the ones that really matter. But, with another two weeks until then, the AP Poll offers 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 current AP Poll, Penn State remains in solid position compared to the rest of the conference. Ohio State is still the team to beat as it rose one spot to No. 3 — followed by Penn State (No. 6), Wisconsin (No. 13), Minnesota (No. 17), Michigan (No. 19) and Iowa (No. 20).
The next AP Poll will be released 2 p.m. Oct. 27.
The full top-25 rankings are below:
1. Alabama 1,486
2. LSU 1,462
3. Ohio State 1,429
4. CLemson 1,408
5. Oklahoma 1,343
6. Penn State 1,224
7. Florida 1,138
8. Notre Dame 1,058
9. Auburn 1,054
10. Georgia 1,031
11. Oregon 979
12. Utah 852
13. Wisconsin 767
14. Baylor 732
15. Texas 627
16. SMU 587
17. Minnesota 577
18. Cincinnati 468
19. Michigan 440
20. Iowa 347
21. Appalachian State 286
22. Boise State 225
23. Iowa State 185
24. Arizona State 134
25. Wake Forest 118
Others receiving votes: Memphis 87, Virginia 29, San Diego State 17, Pittsburgh 17, Washington 15, Navy 9, Texas A&M 6, Missouri 4, UCF 3, USC 3, Louisiana Tech 2, Tulane 1