Penn State Football Surges Up AP Top-25 Rankings After Auburn Blowout

Penn State Football
Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)
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Penn State Football skyrocketed in this week’s rankings, following the Nittany Lions‘ blowout win over Auburn, 41-12.

The Lions will enter Week 4 ranked No. 14 in the AP poll, and No. 15 in the Coaches Poll.

Penn State Football returns home to beaver stadium for two straight home games, against a pair of 1-2 teams in Central Michigan and Northwestern.

After that, James Franklin’s team has a bye week before their big matchup with Michigan.

If the Nittany Lions take care of business, there is a really good chance that the game in the big house is a top 10 matchup.


Key Movements in the Poll:

Biggest Risers:

 Oregon made the biggest jump from No. 25 to No. 15 after its big win over BYU. Penn State Football was the second-biggest riser, jumping eight spots from No. 22 to No. 14.Washington went from unranked in last week’s poll to No. 18 after their dominant win over Michigan State.  Tennessee (11) , North Carolina State (12), and Ole Miss (16) all moved up 4 spots. 

Biggest Fallers:

Michigan State took the biggest hit this week falling from No. 11 to completely out of the poll, after its loss to Washington. Miami dropped this week from No. 13 to No. 25 after their loss to Texas A&M. BYU dropped from No. 12 to No. 19 after taking a big loss in Eugene against Oregon. 

What will it take for Penn State to move up in the poll?

 The Nittany Lions have a favorable schedule until they play Michigan on October 15th. Next week, Penn State Football will get a 1-2 Central Michigan team, who has lost both matchups they have had against FBS competition. The Lions then host another 1-2 team in Northwestern, for the Big 10 home opener. Northwestern just lost to 0-2 FCS Southern Illinois this past weekend. After both games, Penn State will head into a bye week before Michigan. If the Nittany Lions can take care of business the next 2 weeks there is certainly a possibility that they find themselves in the top 10 heading to Ann Arbor with teams in front of them losing every week. 

Key games to watch Week 4:

No. 20 Florida @ No. 11 Tennessee

This will be the college gameday location for the week, and features a classic rivalry that is played every third week of September. Tennessee opens as an 8.5-point favorite but Nittany Lion fans should be rooting for Florida to pull off the upset in this game to open up an avenue to move up. 

No. 5 Clemson @ No. 21 Wake Forest

This is one of the most intriguing games of the week. Clemson does appear to have improved on offense this year and took both halves to pull away from Louisiana Tech last week. Wake Forest narrowly escaped against Liberty but, expect them to be ready to go for this big home matchup. The line is Clemson -7, but Nittany Lion fans should be rooting for the Demon Deacons in this matchup. 

No. 10 Arkansas @ No. 23 Texas A&M

Arkansas had its hands full against FCS Missouri State this past week, but escaped and now travel to Arlington Texas for a big matchup with Texas A&M. The Aggies rebounded and got a solid win against Miami and will look to get their season back on track with back to back ranked wins. Penn State fans should be rooting for Jimbo and company this week to knock off the Razorbacks. 

No. 7 USC @ Oregon State

The Lincoln Riley hype train will get its first real test of the season as they travel to 3-0 Oregon State in a classic PAC 12 after dark game. The Beavers have had a fast start to the season defeating the likes of Boise State and Fresnos State for two solid wins. The Trojans are 7 point road favorites, but Penn State fans should be rooting for the Beavers to pull the upset.  

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