Penn State Football

How far did Penn State football drop in the top-25 rankings after losing to Minnesota?

Penn State is no longer among the undefeated in college football, and the team paid for it in the latest edition of the Associated Press top-25 poll.

The Nittany Lions fell from No. 5 to No. 9 in the latest edition of the poll after suffering a 31-26 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday. With the win, the undefeated Gophers rose from No. 13 to No. 7 in the latest poll, which was released Sunday afternoon.

Although the Nittany Lions fell, this is still the 52nd consecutive week they’ve been ranked in the AP Poll. That’s the fifth-longest streak in the country behind Alabama (191), Ohio State (126), Clemson (80), and Oklahoma (55). Alabama also fell this week after a loss, but only 2 spots from No. 2 to No. 4 after losing to No. 1 LSU.

Penn State had 1,306 points in the poll last week when it was ranked No. 5 but that number plummeted to 1,003 after the loss.

The team should still maintain control of its destiny the rest of the season. The Nittany Lions have to face No. 24 Indiana, No. 2 Ohio State, and unranked Rutgers, in that order, the rest of the way. If they win those three games, they’ll be set for a trip to the Big Ten Championship game with the Golden Gophers as a likely opponent. A win over Ohio State and a Big Ten Championship win that would avenge the team’s only loss should be enough to slot Penn State into the College Football Playoff committee’s top four.

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 committee releases its second 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, and often adjust to look similar to the playoff polls once they’re released.

Penn State is now the third-highest ranked Big Ten team after only slotting in behind Ohio State last week. The Buckeyes are still ahead of the pack in the conference with Minnesota (No. 7) now in front of the Nittany Lions and Michigan (No. 14), Wisconsin (No. 15), Iowa (No. 23), and Indiana all ranked behind them. The Illinois Fighting Illini received a vote and finished with the 15th-highest total among teams outside of the top 25.

The next AP Poll will be released at 2 p.m. on Nov. 17.

The full top-25 rankings are below:

1. LSU 1,542

2. Ohio State 1,480

3. Clemson 1,441

4. Alabama 1,312

5. Georgia 1,267

6. Oregon 1,224

7. Minnesota 1,164

8. Utah 1,099

9. Penn State 1,003

10. Oklahoma 1,000

11. Florida 934

12. Baylor 932

13. Auburn 871

14. Michigan 744

15. Wisconsin 657

16. Notre Dame 593

17. Cincinnati 567

18. Memphis 510

19. Boise State 371

20. SMU 346

21. Navy 228

22. Texas 199

23. Iowa 197

24. Indiana 108

25. Oklahoma State 77

Others receiving votes:

Appalachian State 73, Kansas State 67, Texas A&M 42, Wake Forest 38, Louisiana Tech 25, Virginia 12, San Diego State 7, Iowa State 4, Virginia Tech 4, Washington 3, Pittsburgh 2, UCF 2, Air Force 2, USC 1, Illinois 1

Jon Sauber earned his B.A. in digital and print journalism from Penn State and his M.A. in sports journalism from IUPUI. His previous stops include jobs at The Indianapolis Star, the NCAA, and Rivals.
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