Penn State completes rise from unranked to top 10 in AP Top 25

(*10*)

Penn State accomplished its rise from an unranked group to a top-10 program in the Associated Press Top 25 College Football Poll when the ultimate rankings had been launched Tuesday in the aftermath of Georgia’s thrashing of TCU in the nationwide championship recreation.

Penn State completed the season ranked No. 7 nationally in the ultimate AP Top 25 following an 11-2 season that featured a convincing 35-21 win over No. 10 Utah in the Rose Bowl and losses to solely No. 3 (*25*) and No. 4 Ohio State.

Penn State entered the 2022 season not solely as a group to monitor from a nationwide perspective — whereas the Nittany Lions had been exterior the top 25, they had been unofficially No. 29 — but additionally one which wanted to show itself, primarily based on the way it stumbled down the stretch in 2021 and the variety of questions that surrounded it getting into the 2023 season.

Penn State answered a lot of these questions and reasserted itself on the nationwide panorama in the method. In 16 editions of the AP Top 25, Penn State was ranked 14 instances, together with 5 appearances in the top 10. The lowest the Nittany Lions had been ranked after beginning 3-0 was No. 16, which got here after the losses to the Wolverines and the Buckeyes.

Here’s a take a look at the place Penn State ranked in the AP Top 25 each week:

  • Week 1 (Aug. 15): Receiving votes (No. 29 unofficially)
  • Week 2 (Sept. 5): Receiving votes (No. 27 unofficially)
  • Week 3 (Sept. 11): No. 22
  • Week 4 (Sept. 18): No. 14
  • Week 5 (Sept. 25): No. 11
  • Week 6 (Oct. 2): No. 10
  • Week 7 (Oct. 9): No. 10
  • Week 8 (Oct. 16): No. 16
  • Week 9 (Oct. 23): No. 13
  • Week 10 (Oct. 30): No. 16
  • Week 11 (Nov. 6): No. 14
  • Week 12 (Nov. 13): No. 11
  • Week 13 (Nov. 20): No. 11
  • Week 14 (Nov. 27): No. 8
  • Week 15 (Dec. 4): No. 9
  • Week 16 (Jan. 10): No. 7

Penn State was one in every of solely three Big Ten groups to end contained in the AP Top 25, together with (*25*) and Ohio State, each of which made the College Football Playoff and misplaced in the semifinals. Minnesota, Iowa, Purdue, Maryland and Illinois all obtained votes in the ultimate ballot.

Penn State was voted as excessive as No. 5 by 4 of the AP Top 25’s voters, and 62 of the 63 voters had Penn State between No. 5 and no. 8. One outlier had Penn State at No. 13, in accordance to the College Poll Tracker.

Penn State’s end at No. 7 ties for his highest postseason end in the AP Top 25 underneath coach James Franklin, and it is the fourth time the Nittany Lions have completed in the top 10 in Franklin’s 9 seasons. Penn State completed No. 7 after 2016, No. 8 after 2017 and No. 9 after 2019. The Nittany Lions had been additionally No. 17 after the 2018 season, marking the one different ranked end of Franklin’s tenure.

Penn State’s end to the 2022 season, coupled with what it’s returning in 2023, has the Nittany Lions arrange to start subsequent season as a top-10 group. In reality, Penn State is ranked No. 5 in 247Sports’ way-too-early top 25 for the 2023 season. There’s loads of pleasure surrounding returning expertise like Olu Fashanu, Adisa Isaac Nick Singleton, Kaytron Allen and Abdul Cartertogether with the chance for gamers like Drew Allar to step into extra vital roles.

Of course, a lot can change in the school soccer panorama between now and when subsequent season kicks off towards West Virginia on Sept. 2. But Penn State ended 2023 on a optimistic trajectory, and it is mirrored in the ultimate AP Top 25 Poll.

Here’s the ultimate AP Top 25:

  1. Georgia (15-0)
  2. TCU (13-2)
  3. (*25*) (13-1)
  4. Ohio State (11-2)
  5. Alabama (11-2)
  6. Tennessee (11-2)
  7. Penn State (11-2)
  8. Washington (11-2)
  9. Tulane (12-2)
  10. Utah (10-4)
  11. Florida State (10-3)
  12. USC (11-3)
  13. Clemson (11-3)
  14. Kansas State (10-4)
  15. Oregon (10-3)
  16. LSU (10-4)
  17. Oregon State (10-3)
  18. Notre Dame (9-4)
  19. Troy (12-2)
  20. Mississippi State (9-4)
  21. UCLA (9-4)
  22. Pittsburgh (9-4)
  23. South Carolina (8-5)
  24. Fresno State (10-4)
  25. Texas (8-5)

Read extra: Penn State declares addition of switch defensive again

Read extra: Penn State formally provides two specialists by the NCAA Transfer Portal

Daniel Gallen covers Penn State for Lions247 and 247Sports. He may be reached at daniel.gallen@cbsinteractive.com. Follow Daniel on Twitter at @danieljtgallen.

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