(WHTM) — Penn State’s 3-0 start and blowout win over Auburn has propelled the Nittany Lions into the top 15 of the Associated Press Top-25 Poll at No. 14.
Penn State entered the season unranked in the AP Preseason Poll for the first time since 2016. The Nittany Lions went on to win the Big Ten Championship in 2016.
The Big Ten Conference ranked three teams in the Top 25, two higher than Penn State: Ohio State (3) and Michigan (4). Michigan State fell out of the Top 25 from its spot at No. 11 after a 39-28 loss to Washington.
In 2021, the Nittany Lions jumped out to a 5-0 start and were ranked as high as No. 4 in the AP Poll. From there, Penn State would lose five of its next seven regular season games, and lose in the Outback Bowl to Arkansas.
To open the 2022 season, Penn State outlasted Purdue on the road in the team’s season and Big Ten opener. The game saw seven different lead changes, but eventually fourth-year starting quarterback Sean Clifford led an 8 play, 80 yard drive to win the game. Penn State followed that gritty win up by dismantling Ohio 46-10 inside Beaver Stadium.
From there, Penn State continued to put all the pieces together in a 41-12 victory over Auburn on the road. It was the first time both sides of the ball showed a complete game; the offense had a balanced pass and rush attack, while the defense finally got to the quarterback while relentlessly forcing turnovers.
Penn State hosts its home opener against Ohio on Saturday, September 10. Game kickoff is set for Saturday, September 10 at noon. Plus join the abc27 Sports team for a live pregame show from outside Beaver Stadium starting at 11:30 in the morning. After the game, Sports Director Allie Berube and the team will have a full recap and analysis on abc27 News at 11.
The Associated Press began its college football poll on Oct. 19, 1936, and it is now the longest-running poll of those that award national titles at the end of the season. The preseason poll was started in 1950. A panel of 62 sports writers and broadcasters from around the country votes on the poll weekly.