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Penn State Ranked No. 6 in First AP Poll of 2017

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The Nittany Lions open the season ranked in the top 10

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Associated Press has released its college football rankings for the first week of the 2017 season, and Penn State has clocked in at #6 overall. This is up one spot from the final ranking of 2016, which saw the Lions at #7, just behind Ohio State.

Alabama leads the way at #1, followed by Ohio State at #2, Florida State at #3, USC at #4, and defending national champions Clemson at #5. Other Big Ten members joining the Lions and Buckeyes in the top 25 include #9 Wisconsin, and #11 Michigan.

Penn State will look to defend its Big Ten title this season, and a strong showing throughout the season could have the Lions looking at a playoff berth - after all, it’s much easier to start at the top of the rankings and stay there, rather than having to claw your way up from an unranked position. PSU is playing with lofty expectations for the first time in a while, and it will be interesting to see how the team performs with a target on its back.