Fresh off a thrilling win over Purdue on Thursday night, Penn State Football finds itself once again on the outside looking in in both the AP and Coaches polls.
Despite the Nittany Lions defeating what we think is going to be a solid opponent, it wasn’t enough to catapult them in the polls.
Penn State Football received 122 votes in Week 2 of the AP poll, down from 160 they garnered in the preseason. However, the Lions did move up from the fourth team receiving votes to second, only behind Oregon.
The Nittany Lions are 21 points behind No. 25 Houston.
In the less relevant Coaches Poll Penn State is also the second-highest team receiving votes, with a total of 138. This is down from 246 in the preseason poll.
Key Movements in the Polls
Florida made the biggest jump in Week 2, going from unranked to No. 12 after their big 29-26 win over No. 7 Utah in the Swamp on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Georgia jumped Ohio State up to No. 2 following their blowout 49-3 win over then No. 11 Oregon.
Future Penn State Football opponent Michigan jumped up from No. 8 to No. 4, after their blowout 51-7 win over Colorado State.
Other big movers include USC up from No. 14 to No. 10, and BYU moving up from No. 25 to No. 21.
Oregon took the biggest hit after Week 1, falling from No. 11 to completely out of the poll.
Meanwhile, Utah dropped six spots to No. 13 after their loss. NC State dropped five spots to No. 13 after their close 1-point win over East Carolina.
Oregon (11) and Cincinnati (23) were the only 2 teams to fall out of the rankings this week.
What will it take for Penn State to enter the poll?
It is tough to see the Nittany Lions gaining much ground with a home game against Ohio on the schedule this week.
The most important factor is winning the game handily and putting the game out of reach early.
Most sports writers don’t watch every single game, and will just look at the box score at the end of the night. Seeing a large Penn State Football win, like say 52-7, could help propel them into the rankings for Week 3.
The Nittany Lions will most likely need some help however from the teams already ranked losing.
There are three teams ranked between 20 and 25 that have tough road games this week so the possibility is certainly there.
Penn State Football’s Key Games to watch Week 2:
No. 24 Tennessee @ No. 17 Pitt
If the Volunteers lose this game, that will certainly open up a spot as they are just inside the top 25 and will most likely fall out. Pitt would most likely have to lose by at least 2 touchdowns to fall out of the rankings. But, if they play poorly enough at home it is possible.
No. 25 Houston @ Texas Tech
Houston survived an overtime scare last week at UTSA and the schedule doesn’t get any easier with a trip to Lubbock on deck. Texas Tech is currently a 3-point favorite and a win would certainly open a possible spot for the Nittany Lions.
No. 20 Kentucky @ No. 12 Florida
Florida is coming off a big win so it is unlikely that they would drop out of the Top 25 but if they find a way to blowout Kentucky at home there is a good chance that the Wildcats would fall out of the Top 25 and open things up for the Nittany Lions.
No. 9 Baylor @ No. 21 BYU
BYU is another team ranked at the bottom of the top 25, and has a tough matchup with top 10 Baylor coming to Provo. A loss to Baylor would most likely knock the Cougars out of the Top 25 regardless of how close it is.