Penn State Football

How high did Penn State football climb in the top-25 rankings after beating Michigan?

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

Josh Moyer earned his B.A. in journalism from Penn State and his M.S. from Columbia. He’s been involved in sports and news writing for nearly 20 years. He counts the best athlete he’s ever seen as Tecmo Super Bowl’s Bo Jackson.
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