Penn State’s first loss of the 2019 season dropped the team five spots to No. 9 in the second weekly College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night.
The Nittany Lions, who were ranked fourth, one place ahead of defending national champion Clemson, after the initial reveal a week ago, lost, 31-26, to Minnesota to take this week’s sharpest drop in the top 25.
On the other hand, the Golden Gophers, who at No. 17, were the lowest ranked undefeated team on the list last week, jumped nine spots to No. 8, one of the largest week-to-week climbs in the history of the ranking.
“Their non-conference schedule was not as strong,” Rob Mullens, the athletic director at Oregon and chair of the committee, said of Minnesota on ESPN. “Watching the game last week, they beat Penn State, a team that was ranked No. 4. The committee was really impressed with what Minnesota did.”
Louisiana State rose to the top ranking after its 46-41 victory over Alabama, a defeat that dropped the Crimson Tide from third to fifth. Ohio State dropped one rung to No. 2, followed by Clemson and Georgia. The Tigers were ranked fifth last week, one rung behind Penn State.
Oregon and Utah were ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, while Oklahoma completed the top 10.
The top four teams in the final ranking on Dec. 8 qualify for the College Football Playoff.
The Nittany Lions must win out to get back into playoff contention. Their schedule includes a Nov. 23 matchup at Ohio State.