Penn State came into Saturday night’s season opener under the Beaver Stadium lights against West Virginia ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll.
After beating WVU 38-15, Penn State’s still No. 7.
Big Ten East foes Michigan (No. 2) and Ohio State (No. 5. are still ahead of Penn State.
This is a much higher ranking than Penn State had at this point last season. After starting 2022 un-ranked, a thrilling 35-31 season-opening win under the lights at Purdue wasn’t enough to get Penn State in the top 25. PSU was second amongst “others receiving votes with 122, behind Oregon at 131.
Penn State ended up cracking the rankings for the first time the next week, coming in at No. 22, and didn’t fall out of any poll for the rest of the year.
PSU finished 11-2, capped off by a Rose Bowl win over Utah, and ended the year ranked No. 7.
Penn State had a much higher ranking coming into Week 2 of the 2021 season. After starting the year ranked No. 19, Penn State beat No. 12 Wisconsin on the road to open up, then moved up to No. 11. Penn State ended up winning its next four games and rose to No. 4 before losing to No. 3 Iowa. The team fell apart after that, ending up with a 7-6 record and finishing un-ranked.
In the pandemic-themed 2020 season, Penn State started No. 7 in the AP Poll and ended up losing its first five games and finishing 4-5, the program’s first losing season since 2004.
Penn State almost certainly won’t have a losing season in 2023. The team’s expected by many to contend for a Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff berth, the latter of which has never been done in Happy Valley.