After two games, Penn State’s Nittany Lions are in the Big Ten’s catbird seat.
The Lions (2-0) go in to Week 3 ranked No. 5 in The Associated Press Top 25 released Sunday afternoon — the highest ranking of any Big Ten school in the poll.
Penn State dropped a spot after a 33-14 stomping of rival Pittsburgh on Saturday at Beaver Stadium. Conference rival Ohio State (1-1), which came into Week 2 ranked No. 2, fell after a 31-16 home setback to then-No. 5 Oklahoma.
The Lions’ continued dominance, coupled with the Buckeyes’ struggles out of the gate, has James Franklin’s side a popular choice early on for what figures to be a heated race for the final College Football Playoff slot. Penn State was left out of the playoff in favor of Ohio State and Washington last December, despite winning the Big Ten Championship Game and holding a head-to-head win over the Buckeyes.
James Franklin has built Penn State into the team to beat and a legit playoff contender, his confidence oozes into everybody he’s around
— Tajh Boyd (@TajhB10) September 10, 2017
The Lions visit Ohio Stadium on Oct. 28.
Penn State hosts Georgia State (0-1) on Saturday. The Lions are 37-3 at home against nonconference foes (.925) since the start of the 2004 season.