Penn State landed at No. 4 in the first round of the 2019 College Football Playoff rankings. The Nittany Lions have been red-hot to start the 2019 regular season, and thanks to their 8-0 start with wins over ranked foes Iowa (No. 18) and Michigan (No. 14), they currently sit in a playoff position.
Though this first set of rankings gives us a good idea as to how the committee is currently viewing the top teams in the country, there are still four regular-season games and conference title games to be played before the final playoff field will be decided. What holds true today surely won't hold true come mid-December. That is especially true for James Franklin's Nittany Lions who have chances to grab victories over undefeated, ranked foes on the road when they travel to Minneapolis to take on the No. 17 Minnesota Golden Gophers, and Columbus to challenge the seemingly-unbeatable No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes. Should they escape those games with wins, they'll also likely get another chance for a ranked win in the Big Ten title game.
The closest Penn State has come to being selected for the playoff field was back in 2016 when the team won the Big Ten Championship and finished with a record of 10-2. They were ultimately passed over in favor of the Washington Huskies (11-1, Pac-12 champions) and Ohio State (11-1). The Lions went on to play in the Rose Bowl where they fell to the USC Trojans in one of the most entertaining games in the bowl's illustrious history.
Penn State is set to face off with Minnesota this Saturday, Nov. 9 in Minneapolis. Kickoff is set for noon, ET. The game will air on ABC.