Harvey Levine/FOS

Penn State Cracks The College Football Playoff Top 10

This marks the Nittany Lions' highest national ranking since the end of the 2009 season.

Penn State is a top-10 program for the first time since the end of the 2009 season. The second College Football Playoff rankings of 2016 were released Tuesday night, and the surging Nittany Lions found themselves checking in at No. 10.

PSU had not been ranked in the top 10 of a significant national poll since beating LSU in the Capital One Bowl to complete the 2009 campaign, after which it was No. 9 in the Associated Press media poll and No. 8 in the USA Today coaches poll. http://www.scout.com/college/football/recruiting/story/1725457-penn-stat...

The CFP rankings came into play in 2014, effectively rendering the other two polls meaningless.

James Franklin's team began the 2016 season at 2-2, with losses at Pitt and Michigan. Since then, the Lions have rattled of five straight victories, including a home upset of then-No. 2 Ohio State.

Penn State is 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the Big Ten heading into this weekend’s road game at Indiana (5-4, 4-3). 

The latest ranking comes nearly five years to the day after the most tumultuous night in the history of Penn State football. On Nov. 9, 2011, Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno was fired in the wake of the Sandusky.

Penn State was a surprising 12th in the initial CFP rankings of 2016, which were released last week and followed that up with a 41-14 home win over Iowa.

"Penn State backed it up,” ESPN analyst Danny Kanell said.

Other Big Ten teams in the top 10 included the Wolverines (No. 3), Buckeyes (No. 5) and Wisconsin (No. 7).

Rank

Team

Record

Trend

Schedule

1

Alabama

9-0

Miss. St., Chatt., Auburn

2

Clemson

9-0

Pitt, @Wake Forest, South Carolina

3

Michigan

9-0

@Iowa, IU, @Ohio State

4

Washington

9-0

USC, ASU, @WSU

5

Ohio St.

8-1

@Maryland, @Mich. St., Michigan

6

Louisville

8-1

Wake Forest, @Houston, Kentucky

7

Wisconsin

7-2

Illinois, @Purdue, Minnesota

8

Texas A&M

7-2

Ole Miss, UTSA, LSU

9

Auburn

7-2

@UGA, Alabama A&M, @Alabama

10

Penn State

7-2

@Indiana, @Rutgers, Mich. St.

11

Oklahoma

7-2

Baylor, @WVU, Okla. St.

12

Colorado

7-2

@Arizona, WSU, Utah

13

Oklahoma State

7-2

Texas Tech, @TCU, @Oklahoma

14

Va. Tech

7-2

Ga. Tech, @Notre Dame, Virginia

15

Utah

7-2

@ASU, Oregon, @Colorado

16

WVU

7-1

@Texas, Oklahoma, @Iowa St., Baylor

17

North Carolina

7-2

@Duke, Citadel, NC State

18

Fla. St.

6-3

Boston College, @Syracuse, Florida

19

Nebraska

7-2

Minnesota, Maryland, @Iowa

20

USC

6-3

n/r

@Wash, @UCLA, Notre Dame

21

W. Michigan

9-0

@Kent State, Buffalo, Toledo

22

Boise St.

8-1

@Hawaii, UNLV, @Air Force

23

Wash. St.

7-2

Cal, @Colorado, Washington

24

LSU

5-3

@Arkansas, Florida, @Texas A&M

25

Arkansas

6-3

n/r

LSU, @Miss St, @Missouri


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