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Penn State Is Unranked in the Preseason for the First Time Since 2016

The AP Top 25 follows the Coaches Poll in hedging on the 2022 Nittany Lions.

Penn State was shut out of the two major preseason college football polls for the first time since 2016. The Lions are unranked in the AP College Football Top 25 preseason poll as they were in last week's Coaches Poll.

The last time Penn State went unranked in either preseason poll was 2016, when it won the Big Ten title. Penn State is 29th in the AP Top 25, which was released Monday, after being listed at No. 26 in the USA Today Sports AFCA preseason poll.

The Lions began last season ranked No. 19 in the AP Top 25 and reached No. 4 after winning their first five games. But a 2-6 finish dropped Penn State out of the final rankings.

Penn State might be a bit underrated, according to VSiN analyst Matt Youmans, who said the team could be the second-best behind Ohio State in the Big Ten.

"That [2021] Penn State team was a lot better than that 7-6 record indicated, and that’s why I think that some people are sleeping on Penn State a little bit this season," Youmans said. " A lot of people don’t have as high an opinion of [quarterback Sean] Clifford as I do, and maybe that’s why I think you can find a little bit more value in a Penn State team than the oddsmakers and the bettors think at this point."

Penn State is entering the third week of training camp as it prepares for the Sept. 1 opener at Purdue. Head coach James Franklin said that camp has gone well, with freshman running backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen generating buzz around the program.

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Alabama is No. 1 in the AP Top 25 preseason poll, followed by Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame. Four Big Ten teams are ranked, including Michigan (No. 8), Michigan State (15) and Wisconsin (18).

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AllPennState is the place for Penn State news, opinion and perspective on the SI.com network. Publisher Mark Wogenrich has covered Penn State for more than 20 years, tracking three coaching staffs, three Big Ten titles and a catalog of great stories. Follow him on Twitter @MarkWogenrich. And consider subscribing (button's on the home page) for more great content across the SI.com network.