After a big road win to start the year, Penn State is moving up in the polls and other rankings. The Nittany Lions moved up three spots in ESPN’s updated Football Power Index ratings for the 2021 college football season.
Penn State has moved up to No. 11 in ESPN’s FPI after securing a hard-fought 16-10 victory on the road against Wisconsin. Although Penn State started off lower in the top 20 of the two major polls, ESPN’s FPI was more optimistic about the Nittany Lions heading into the new season. Penn State started the year ranked ahead of Wisconsin, so the FPI wasn’t exactly shocked by Penn State winning in Week 1.
Penn State was blocked by getting into the top 10 of the FPI this week by an upcoming opponent. Auburn, who comes to Happy Valley in Week 3, jumped ahead of Penn State with their rise in the weekly FPI ranking. Auburn jumped up seven spots from their previous spot following a blowout win over Akron in Week 1. Interestingly, Penn State’s projected win total of 8.7 is still higher than Auburn’s 7.7 projection in the latest FPI. This is more an indication of how FPI ranks Auburn’s strength of schedule compared to Penn State’s.
Alabama remains the No. 1 team in FPI after their domination of Miami. The Hurricanes fell four spots, dropping them one spot behind Penn State in the updated ranking. Clemson actually holds on to the No. 2 spot despite losing a defensive battle with Georgia. Oddly, both Clemson and Georgia remained in their FPI ranking from the previous week, while Ohio State and Oklahoma swapped spots to move the Buckeyes up to No. 3 and dropping the Sooners to No. 4.
Michigan made a big jump up in the FPI by moving up 15 spots to No. 13 following its win against Western Michigan.
Penn State’s Week 2 opponent, Ball State, fell 19 spots in the FPI to No. 91 overall.