College football rankings: Penn State moves up to No. 4 in AP Top 25

For the first time in 18 years, Penn State’s Nittany Lions have joined the nation’s top 5 after just one contest.

The Lions (1-0) moved to No. 4 in the second AP Top 25 released this afternoon after a comprehensive 52-0 thrashing of Akron in the season-opener for both schools.

Penn State was ranked No. 6 in the AP preseason poll. The Lions had been ranked No. 4 in the latest coaches poll, released earlier Tuesday.

It’s the first time a Penn State team has cracked the top 5 after Week 1 since 1999, when the Lions had been installed as the nation’s No. 3 team in the preseason poll and moved up a slot to No. 2 after clubbing Arizona 41-7 in the Pigskin Classic.

The last time the Lions reached the top 5 before mid-September was in the fall of 2009, after a 2-0 start that featured home wins over Akron and Syracuse pushed Penn State to the No. 5 spot in the second poll of the regular season. The Lions remained at No. 5 for one more week but fell to 15 th after a home loss to Iowa on Sept. 27 that year.

Coach James Franklin’s side put together the program’s largest margin of victory in a season-opener since Penn State strangled Coastal Carolina, 66-10, to open the 2008 campaign — and the voters certainly noticed. The Lions’ poll fortunes were also buoyed by the comparative struggles of Florida State, the preseason No. 3, and USC, the preseason No. 4. The Seminoles (0-1) were dropped by No. 1 Alabama in Atlanta, 24-7, while the Trojans (1-0) struggled at home with defending MAC champion Western Michigan before pulling out a 49-31 victory.

The Lions host rival Pittsburgh (1-0) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Panthers upset Penn State at Heinz Field last September, 42-39, in the Lions’ only loss to an unranked team in 2016. This weekend marks the first time Penn State has faced Pitt as a top 5 team since 1999, when the then-second-ranked Lions edged the Panthers 20-17 at Beaver Stadium.

The post College football rankings: Penn State moves up to No. 4 in AP Top 25 appeared first on Land of 10.

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