Penn State entered the season without enough votes to crack the top 25. They finished things off firmly in the top 10, following an impressive Rose Bowl victory over Utah to cap off an 11-2 season.
The Nittany Lions moved up two spots to finish the 2023 season at #7 in the AP Poll. Outside of the four playoff participants, Penn State is only listed behind Alabama and Tennessee, who also finished with 11-2 seasons. Washington, Tulane and Utah round out the top 10. Michigan and Ohio State, the only teams to beat Penn State this season, finished at #3 and #4 after their losses in the playoff semifinals.
Despite having three teams in the top seven, the Big Ten had no other teams finish in the top 25. Minnesota, Iowa, Purdue, Maryland and Illinois received votes, but not enough to crack the rankings. Future Big Ten programs USC finished at #12, with UCLA at #21.