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Penn State Lands At No. 4 In First College Football Playoff Rankings

on November 05, 2019 9:30 PM

Penn State has landed at the No. 4 spot in the College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday evening. The mark is tied for highest the Nittany Lions have ever been ranked in the committee's poll and the highest since coming in at No. 5 following a Big Ten title victory in 2016.

Ohio State rounds out the rankings at the No. 1 spot while LSU comes in at No. 2 and Alabama at No. 3. Clemson comes in at No. 5 while the Georgia Bulldogs are just outside the Top 4 at the sixth spot.

For the Nittany Lions the ranking comes with a few obvious caveats and hurdles. Penn State is set to face undefeated Minnesota this weekend in Minneapolis and will face two-loss Indiana in the following week. Additionally the Nittany Lions still have an all-important meeting with Ohio State in Columbus near the end of November.

Penn State closes out the regular season against Rutgers.

So while Tuesday night's ranking is a good sign for fans hopeful to see their Nittany Lions make the playoffs, plenty of work is left to be done. LSU and Alabama face each other this weekend while Clemson takes on NC State. 

If nothing else, the Playoff Committee appears to value Penn State's strength of schedule which includes wins at Iowa, Michigan State as well as victories over Pitt and Michigan.

"We are completely focused on Minnesota," Penn State coach James Franklin said on Tuesday. Preseason rankings mean nothing. Middle-of-the-season rankings mean nothing. At the end of the season, people will count up where we're at and where they have us and tell us where we're going to go and we'll be excited about going there."

"But we are completely focused on Minnesota, and trying our best to be 1-0 come Saturday afternoon, come Saturday night, against a really good team, ranked-team, undefeated team, on the road, that plays winning football."

"The best thing we can do is focus on the task at hand and be the best version of ourselves and dominate today. We are going to go out and have the best meetings we've ever had. We're going to have the best practice we've ever had. I'm going to lead the way the team needs me to lead. I'm going to have energy. The coaches will have energy. We'll maximize the meetings, all of it. That's what I believe, and have believed this for a very long time."

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