Penn State Football

Did Penn State football move at all in the top-25 rankings after the bye week?

Penn State is now one of just seven undefeated teams left in the nation — and, based on the latest polls, its postseason future remains bright.

The Nittany Lions (8-0) stayed steady at No. 5 in the latest Associated Press Top-25 Poll, which was released Sunday afternoon. Penn State was on bye this past weekend but so were all of the AP’s top-5 teams — with the exception of Clemson, which cruised past FCS Wofford 59-14.

As a result, the top 5 remained the same from last week: 1. LSU, 2. Alabama, 3. Ohio State, 4. Clemson and 5. Penn State.

This is now the 51st straight week that Penn State is ranked in the AP Top 25, making it the country’s fifth-longest streak behind Alabama (190), Ohio State (125), Clemson (79) and Oklahoma (54).

Penn State now has 1, 306 voting points; it had 1,302 last week.

As it stands, just about every major sports media outlet projects the same bowl destination for the Nittany Lions — the Rose Bowl. CBS Sports, 247 Sports and The Sporting News all predict a Penn State-Oregon matchup in the Rose Bowl, and Sports Illustrated believes Utah is the more likely opponent than the Ducks.

Obviously, it’s still too early to take these rankings as Gospel. But, if the Nittany Lions triumph over their next opponent — No. 13 Minnesota on Nov. 9 — then the floor for PSU appears to be the Rose Bowl, as long as the Big Ten West doesn’t somehow win the Big Ten title. If PSU loses, then that throws a wrench into the bowl projections. But if it keeps winning? Well, the College Football Playoff is a real possibility.

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 this Tuesday. Those rankings are the ones that really matter — but the AP Poll offers a sneak peek at what those rankings could look like.

In the current AP Poll, Penn State remains in solid position compared to the rest of the conference. No. 3 Ohio State is still the team to beat, followed by Penn State (No. 5), Minnesota (No. 13), Michigan (No. 14), Wisconsin (No. 16) and Iowa (No. 18). Indiana is also receiving votes and would’ve been No. 28, if the poll was extended.

The next AP Poll will be released 2 p.m. Nov. 10.

The full top-25 rankings are below:

1. LSU 1,479

2. Alabama 1,472

3. Ohio State 1,467

4. Clemson 1,406

5. Penn State 1,306

6. Georgia 1,196

7. Oregon 1,180

8. Utah 1,090

9. Oklahoma 1,045

10. Florida 938

11. Baylor 909

12. Auburn 901

13. Minnesota 831

14. Michigan 780

15. Notre Dame 571

16. Wisconsin 558

17. Cincinnati 527

18. Iowa 491

19. Memphis 448

20. Kansas State 364

21. Boise State 310

22. Wake Forest 296

23. SMU 250

24. San Diego State 87

25. Navy 83

Others receiving votes: UCF 52, Texas 37, Indiana 27, Texas A&M 19, Oklahoma State 11, Louisiana Tech 7, Appalachian State 5, Washington 2, Pittsburgh 2, Iowa State 1, Virginia 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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