Penn State will need to work its way back into the rankings after a dismal end to the 2021 campaign, which dropped the team’s record to 11-11 in the last two seasons.
The Nittany Lions were shut out completely from the top 25 in the initial USA Today Coaches preseason poll. WIth Houston occupying #25 with 257 points, the Iowa Hawkeyes came in at #26 with 248 points, while Penn State was #27 with 246 points.
Alabama led the way, followed by Ohio State, defending national champs Georgia, and Notre Dame to round out the top four. The Crimson Tide were an overwhelming favorite, receiving 54 of 65 first place votes. Georgia (6), Ohio State (5), and Texas (1) also received first place votes (Yes, Texas. I’ll wait while you fact check and/or stop laughing).
Only three other Big Ten teams were ranked along with the Buckeyes, with Michigan at #6, Michigan State at #14 and Wisconsin at #20. Week three opponent Auburn was not ranked, but received 98 points which would have put them at #31.
There aren’t too many surprises to be found in the preseason poll. Pitt is at #16 following its ACC Championship in 2022, while NC State continues to be a trendy preseason pick to make some noise this fall as the Wolfpack come in at #13.
Penn State’s week one opponent Purdue is unranked, but received two points. The Nittany Lions and Boilermakers kick off the season Thursday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. on FOX.