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BREAKING: Penn State No. 12 In First CFP Rankings Of 2016

The Nittany Lions showing up just outside the top 10 is one of the biggest surprises of the College Football Playoff rankings that were revealed Tuesday night.

The media folks who vote in the Associated Press Top 25 have Penn State slotted at No. 20. The coaches who vote in the USA Today Top 25 have the Nittany Lions plugged in at No. 23.

But in the only Top 25 that really matters, PSU coach James Franklin’s 6-2 outfit rates MUCH higher. 

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The first College Football Playoff rankings of 2016 were unveiled Tuesday night, with the Nittany Lions checking in all the way up at No. 12. This marks the first time Penn State has been a part of the CFP rankings, which came into play in 2014. http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1723504-penn-state-vs-iowa...

"Obviously, they have a great win over Ohio State,” said new selection committee chairman Kirby Hocutt, the athletic director at Texas Tech. “Four of their six wins have come over teams with a winning record. … We’ve taken a lot of looks at the schedule that they’ve played and been very impressed with their improvement, but also their quality of wins."

PSU is no doubt benefitting from its strong Big Ten schedule, as the Lions have split games with No. 3 Michigan (a loss) and No. 6 Ohio State (a win). Two other conference teams are in the top 10 (Wisconsin No. 8, Nebraska No. 10).

But even so, Penn State's high ranking caught many by surprise.

“Sitting at 12, that’s a shocker to me,’ ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said. “That’s great news for the folks in State College. Great to see them all the way up to 12.”

Penn State, which is 4-2 in the B1G, is riding a four-game winning streak into this week’s home game with Iowa (5-3, 3-2). The Lions figure to be favored in their remaining four games of the regular season.

Rank

Team

Record

Schedule

1

Alabama

8-0

@LSU, Miss. St., Chatt., Auburn

2

Clemson

8-0

Syracuse, Pitt, @Wake Forest, South Carolina

3

Michigan

8-0

Maryland, @Iowa, IU, @Ohio State

4

Texas A&M

7-1

@Miss. St., Ole Miss, UTSA, LSU

5

Washington

8-0

@Cal, USC, ASU, @WSU

6

Ohio St.

7-1

Nebraska, @Maryland, @Mich. St., Michigan

7

Louisville

7-1

@B.C., Wake Forest, @Houston, Kentucky

8

Wisconsin

6-2

@Northwestern, Illinois, @Purdue, Minnesota

9

Auburn

6-2

Vanderbilt, @UGA, Alabama A&M, @Alabama

10

Nebraska

7-1

@Ohio State, Minnesota, Maryland, @Iowa

11

Florida

6-1

@Arkansas, S. Carolina, @LSU, @FSU

12

Penn State

6-2

Iowa, @Indiana, @Rutgers, Mich. St.

13

LSU

5-2

Alabama, @Arkansas, Florida, @Texas A&M

14

Oklahoma

6-2

@Iowa St., Baylor, @WVU, Okla. St.

15

Colorado

6-2

UCLA, @Arizona, WSU, Utah

16

Utah

7-2

@ASU, Oregon, @Colorado

17

Baylor

6-1

TCU, @Oklahoma, K-State, Texas Tech(n), @W. Virginia

18

Oklahoma State

6-2

@Kansas State, Texas Tech, @TCU, @Oklahoma

19

Va. Tech

6-2

@Duke, Ga. Tech, @Notre Dame, Virginia

20

WVU

6-1

Kansas, @Texas, Oklahoma, @Iowa St., Baylor

21

North Carolina

6-2

Ga. Tech, @Duke, Citadel, NC State

22

Fla. St.

5-3

@NC St., Boston College, @Syracuse, Florida

23

W. Michigan

8-0

@Ball St., @Kent State, Buffalo, Toledo

24

Boise St.

7-1

SJSU, @Hawaii, UNLV, @Air Force

25

Wash. St.

6-2

Arizona, Cal, @Colorado, Washington


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