Penn State moved up one spot to No. 10 in the season’s penultimate College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday night, the final top 25 before conference championship weekend settles the playoff field and bowl destinations are announced.

The Nittany Lions are coming off a dominating 42-0 victory over Michigan State at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday to close out the regular season slate at 10-2. Penn State is poised take part in a New Year’s Six Bowl, with the destination to be announced on Sunday, though it remains to be determined based on the outcomes of conference championship games.

The latest projections have the Nittany Lions headed to the Peach Bowl, Fiesta Bowl or Cotton Bowl.

Defending champion Georgia remained atop the poll. Michigan moved up one spot to No. 2 after a win on Saturday over Ohio State, which fell four spots to No. 6. No. 3 Washington and No. 4 Florida State rounded out the top four.

Michigan is a probable winner over Iowa on Saturday night but Washington and Oregon as well as Georgia and Alabama are both set to play in far more dramatic clashes that will define the four-team playoff field.

Oregon came in at No. 5, with a meeting against the Huskies coming up on Friday for the Pac-12 championship in a showdown between future Big Ten members.

Filling out the top 10 are No. 7 Texas, No. 8 Alabama and No. 9 Missouri. Ole Miss and Oklahoma trail Penn State in the rankings, sitting outside the top 10 at No. 11 and No. 12, respectively.

The Nittany Lions won’t make the four-team College Football Playoff this year, but a top-10 ranking would mean entry when the field expands to 12 in 2024.

Penn State is still looking for its first playoff berth, finishing the 2016 season at No. 5 and just missing out on the playoffs. The Nittany Lions could win 11-games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2016 and 2017, a mark that happened prior to that in 2008 and 2009.


Georgia (12-0)

Michigan (12-0)

Washington (12-0)

Florida State (12-0)

Oregon (11-1)

Ohio State (11-1)

Texas (11-1)

Alabama (11-1)

Missouri (10-2)

Penn State (10-2)

Ole Miss (10-2)

Oklahoma (10-2)

LSU (9-3)

Louisville (10-2)

Arizona (9-3)

Iowa (10-2)

Notre Dame (9-3)

Oklahoma State (9-3)

NC State (9-3)

Oregon State (8-4)

Tennessee (8-4)

Tulane (11-1)

Clemson (8-4)

Liberty (12-0)

Kansas State (8-4)

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