Throw the AP poll and the coaches poll out the window –– the real rankings are out.

The long-awaited release of the College Football Playoff rankings came on Tuesday night and Penn State finds itself at a spot it’s never been at before, inside the top four.

The Nittany Lions were ranked No. 4 –– behind only Ohio State, LSU and Alabama, respectively –– in the initial release of the CFP rankings in 2019. This is the highest Penn State has ever been ranked in the CFP rankings, topping the team’s previous best spot of No. 5, which was in 2016 after the team won the Big Ten championship.

Coming in right behind the Nittany Lions to round out the top five is defending national champion Clemson. Georgia, Oregon, Utah, Oklahoma, and Florida round out the top 10.

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford (14) and wide receiver KJ Hamler (1) celebrate a 28-21 win against Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pa. (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times/TNS)
Abby Drey / MCT
Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford (14) and wide receiver KJ Hamler (1) celebrate a 28-21 win against Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pa. (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times/TNS)

James Franklin said at his weekly press conference on Tuesday that the best way for his team to avoid any potential distractions that come with looking at where they’re ranked is to simply ignore them.

“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,” Franklin said. “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.”

But it’s hard for Penn State fans not to feel good about where the Nittany Lions sit in the rankings. Sure, the Nittany Lions will face an undefeated Minnesota team this weekend in Minneapolis, and they’ll more than likely face a 10-0 Ohio State team on the road in a few weeks, but the path to a first-ever playoff berth is right in front of them.

College Football Playoff committee top 25

1. Ohio State (8-0)

2. LSU (8-0)

3. Alabama (8-0)

4. Penn State (8-0)

5. Clemson (9-0)

6. Georgia (7-1)

7. Oregon (8-1)

8. Utah (8-1)

9. Oklahoma (7-1)

10. Florida (7-2)

11. Auburn (7-2)

12. Baylor (8-0)

13. Wisconsin (6-2)

14. Michigan (7-2)

15. Notre Dame (6-2)

16. Kansas State (6-2)

17. Minnesota (8-0)

18. Iowa (6-2)

19. Wake Forest (7-1)

20. Cincinnati (9-1)

21. Memphis (8-1)

22. Boise State (7-1)

23. Oklahoma State (6-3)

24. Navy (7-1)

25. SMU (8-1)