Penn State ranked sixth in AP preseason poll

Big Ten Preview Football
Saquon Barkley and the rest of the Nittany Lions are ranked sixth in the country by the AP.

The Associated Press preseason football poll came out Monday and not shockingly, the top six teams were in the same order as the coaches poll, which was previously released. Again, Penn State was ranked sixth in the media poll, its highest ranking to start a season since 1999. That team won its first nine games but finished 10-3.

The Nittany Lions will open at home against Akron on Sept. 2. The five teams ahead of them are Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Southern California, and defending national champion Clemson (which beat ‘Bama in the title game). The Crimson Tide will play Florida State on Sept. 2 in Atlanta.

Also joining the Buckeyes and Lions in the poll from the Big Ten are No. 9 Wisconsin and No. 11 Michigan. In the coaches ballot, they were 10th and ninth, respectively.

Poll sitting

Penn State (at No. 6) is ranked in the preseason AP Top 10 for the first time in eight years and for the 11th time since winning its first national title in 1982. Here’s a look at how the Nittany Lions have fared over the last 35 years when expectations have been highest:

Year AP Pre. Rank Final W-L Notable
2017  6th Circle this: Oct. 28, at No. 2 Ohio State (3:30, Fox)
2009 9th 11-2 Beat LSU for JoePa’s last bowl win
1999 3rd 10-3 Year ended with infamous trip to Alamo Bowl
1997 1st 9-3 34-8 home loss to No. 4 Michigan sank season
1995 4th 9-3 Lost to Wisconsin, OSU and conference champ Northwestern
1994 9th 12-0 PSU would have destroyed Nebraska (also 12-0)
1992 8th 7-5 Was PSU’s final season as an independent
1991 7th 11-2 Lost mid-season at No. 2 Miami, 26-20
1986 6th 12-0 Fiesta Bowl win over No. 1 Miami was classic
1983 4th 8-4-1 Started 0-3, including a 44-6 loss to No. 1 Nebraska
1982 8th 11-1 Beat Georgia for JoePa’s first national title

Penn State schedule

 Saturday, Sept. 2  AKRON 12 p.m., ABC
 Saturday, Sept. 9 PITTSBURGH 3:30 p.m., ABC
Saturday, Sept. 16 GEORGIA ST. 7:30 p.m., BTN
Saturday, Sept. 23 at Iowa Time/TV TBA
Saturday, Sept. 30 INDIANA Time/TV TBA
Saturday, Oct. 7 at Northwestern 12 p.m., TV TBA
Saturday, Oct. 14 Idle
Saturday, Oct. 21 MICHIGAN Time/TV TBA
Saturday, Oct. 28 at Ohio State 3:30 p.m., FOX
Saturday, Nov. 4 at Michigan St. Time/TV TBA
Saturday, Nov. 11 RUTGERS 12 p.m., TV TBA
Saturday, Nov. 18 NEBRASKA Time/TV TBA
Saturday, Nov. 25 at Maryland Time/TV TBA
Saturday, Dec. 2 Big Ten title (Indy) 8 p.m., FOX