Penn State Football stayed at No. 10 in both the AP and Coaches poll after the Nittany Lions‘ bye week.
As a result, the Lions will head to a big matchup with #5 Michigan in Ann Arbor Saturday.
Key Movements in the Poll
UCLA jumped 7 spots to No. 11, after upsetting Utah and moving to 6-0. Mississippi State also moved up 7 spots to No. 16 after their win over Arkansas. TCU moved up 4 spots to No. 13 after their tough road win over Kansas.
Meanwhile, Syracuse moved up 4 spots to No. 18 after being off this weekend.
While no top-10 teams lost, there was a lot of shuffling within the rankings.
Georgia reclaimed the No. 1 spot, and Ohio State jumped up to No. 2. Clemson jumped Michigan to No. 4. Tennessee jumped up 2 spots to No. 6.
BYU took the biggest hit this week, falling out of the poll from No. 16 after their loss to Notre Dame. Utah dropped 9 spots to No. 20 after their loss to UCLA. Kentucky dropped 9 spots to No. 22 after their loss to South Carolina.
After their scare against Texas A&M, Alabama lost their No. 1 ranking and dropped all the way to No. 3, behind both Georgia and Ohio State.
What will it take for Penn State Football to move up in the poll?
The Nittany Lions enter their biggest matchup to date.
Saturday, No. 5 Michigan will be the first ranked team that Penn State will face this season.
The Big House has not been too kind to Penn State Football in the past, so just getting out of this game with a win will be a tough battle.
All Penn State Football needs to do this week is win, and they are guaranteed to move up at least one spot in the poll without considering other matchups.
Upsetting Michigan could catapult Penn State Football into the top-five.
Key Games to watch Week 7:
No. 3 Alabama @ No. 6 Tennessee 3:30pm/CBS
This matchup has been getting stronger and stronger with each passing week and for the second time this season, ESPN’s College Gameday will be heading to Knoxville.
This will be a good test to see if Tennessee is truly a national contender, or still a few years away.
Alabama opens at an 8-point favorite on the road.
Penn State Football fans should root for the lower ranked Volunteers, as it is unusual that Alabama is vulnerable like they have been of late.
No. 8 Oklahoma State @ No. 13 TCU 3:30pm/ABC
Another matchup of unbeatens that will surely solidify the winner into the Top 10.
TCU is coming off a big win against Kansas and will now get to host a Top-10 team.
TCU opens as a 2.5-point favorite against the Cowboys.
Penn State Football fans should be rooting for the Horned Frogs in this matchup opening another spot ahead of them if they can take care of business themselves.
No. 15 NC State @ No. 18 Syracuse 3:30pm/ACCN
This matchup doesn’t have a lot of influence on the Nittany Lions but is still intriguing.
The Orange will have one of their first real tests of the season when they invite the Wolfpack to town. We should know after this week whether Syracuse are contenders or pretenders in the ACC. Syracuse opens as a 3.5-point favorite.
No. 16 Mississippi State @ No. 22 Kentucky 7:30pm/SECN
This matchup may have lost some luster with the injury to Kentucky quarterback Will Levis.
The Wildcats’ QB was seen in a walking boot after getting injured against South Carolina this past weekend.
Meanwhile the Bulldogs have been quietly rocketing up the polls since their loss to LSU.
In that time frame they have defeated Bowling Green 45-14, #17 Texas A&M 42-24, and Arkansas 40-17. With a weakened Kentucky offense this game has the potential to get ugly. Mississippi State opens as a 7-point road favorite.
No. 7 USC @ No. 20 Utah 8:00pm/FOX
Lincoln Riley’s squad will get their first big test of the season, when they travel to Utah to take on a reeling Utes squad.
This will be the first test for the Trojans against a solid defense.
Penn State fans should root for Utah to pull off the upset to open another spot in the Top 10. Utah opens as a 3-point home favorite.