Will Penn State be a top 25 team heading into home opener?

·3 min read

Penn State had the luxury of sitting back and relaxing on the first full Saturday of the college football season already with a win in its pocket. After winning its season opener in exhilarating fashion on Thursday night at Purdue, the Nittany Lions could spend some time soaking in all the college football world had to offer on the first full slate of games of the 2022 season, and a few results likely went Penn State’s way if it hopes to be ranked going into Week 2.

A couple of teams ranked in the top 25 took a loss in Week 1, but it is not exactly a guarantee Penn State will manage to work in ahead of those who took an “L” in Week 1. Cincinnati, the No. 22 team in the preseason USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, came up short on the road against No. 23 Arkansas, 31-24.

Swapping the two teams in the rankings is inevitable, although some voters may drop Cincinnati from the top 25 as a result. That would leave one spot open for a newcomer in the Week 2 poll.

 

Penn State was second team among others receiving votes in the preseason coaches poll. The only team in front of them was Iowa. The Hawkeyes figure to lose ground after scoring seven points in a 7-3 victory over San Diego State that incredibly featured three scores by the Hawkeyes. If Cincinnati does drop out, Penn State could make the move into the rankings toward the bottom of the top 25.

No. 24 Ole Miss and No. 25 Houston came away with victories although Houston had to take care of UTSA in overtime, 37-35. That may be enough for some voters to move Penn State ahead of the Cougars given the level of competition of UTSA and Purdue.

It will also be worth watching just how hard the voters hammer the No. 11 Oregon Ducks. There is no shame in losing to No. 3 Georgia in a season opener in Atlanta, but the Ducks were grilled by the defending national champions, 49-3. Oregon may be a very good team this season, but historical poll trends suggest Oregon is in for a big drop in the next batch of national polls, and staying in the top 25 may be in some doubt after that showing.

No. 13 NC State will probably be OK, but having to escape East Carolina with a 21-20 victory courtesy of some late-game special teams woes by the Pirates could hurt their ranking. Enough for Penn State to make a run? Not likely, but polls can be weird sometimes.

Penn State coming in at No. 24 in the Week 2 polls would not be surprising to see.

The new top 25 polls will be released on Tuesday after the extended weekend schedule features Clemson and Georgia Tech on Monday night. LSU and Florida State also play each other in New Orleans on Sunday night.

List

Winners and losers from Penn State's win over Purdue

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire