Penn State wasted no time climbing to the edge of the AP’s top 25 this season after its weekend victory against UCF. Despite opening the year only receiving five votes in the AP Poll for No. 46 placement in the country, the Nittany Lions are all the way up to No. 29 this week and receiving 49 votes.
Penn State has not been ranked in the AP Poll since it played the TicketCity Bowl against Houston, when it was No. 24. It flirted with a top 25 placement at a few points in Bill O’Brien’s first season, but never quite cracked the ranking. With its next three games against Akron, Rutgers, and Massachusetts, though, it would come as a surprise if Penn State doesn’t have a number next to its name in the next few weeks. This sets up more excitement for Penn State’s mid-October games at Michigan and versus Ohio State — currently, Michigan is No. 32 and Ohio State is No. 8.
UCF was No. 26 when Penn State played it, and it’s now completely absent from the poll. Right now, only Duke, Oklahoma State, and Texas separate Penn State, which is tied with Florida and Mississippi State, from the top 25. Polls come out every Sunday around noon.