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Penn State Ranked 17th in CBS Sports Top 130

You get a ranking, and you get a ranking, and you get a ranking!

Michigan State v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

CBS Sports released its full FBS rankings of all 130 programs, and sees a sharp turnaround for the Nittany Lions following the 4-5 season in 2020. Penn State came in at #17, which is the third-highest ranking among Big Ten programs.

Penn State was marked as a “notable mover” after jumping up 37 spots since the final 2020 poll. Chip Patterson of CBS Sports had this to say about the optimistic view heading into the fall:

Now on his third offensive coordinator in as many years, quarterback Sean Clifford is tasked with meeting high expectations thanks to Penn State becoming a trendy pick as one of the year’s top bounce-back candidates following a 4-5 showing in 2020. The roster is talented. With injuries and opt-outs playing a huge role in last season’s struggles, a deeper dive into the results shows a team that wasn’t outplayed by too many of its opponents.

Penn State’s week one opponent, Wisconsin, appeared at #14, while Ohio State was the top-ranked Big Ten squad at #4. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Alabama and Clemson held the top two spots, with Oklahoma at #3.

Iowa came in one spot behind Penn State at #18, followed by Indiana at #24. As far as the rest of the Big Ten:

Michigan - #28
Northwestern #37
Minnesota #46
Nebraska #51
Purdue #58
Michigan State #74
Maryland #77
Rutgers #80
Illinois #81

In regards to Penn State’s two FBS non-conference opponents, Auburn stands at #30, while week two opponent and defending MAC champs Ball State is ranked #50.