Penn State was ranked as the No. 4 team in the first round of the College Football Playoff rankings. They were awarded that position ahead of the reigning national champion Clemson Tigers, who will head into the weekend at No. 5.
The folks down in Clemson, SC surely were a bit miffed at their team's exclusion from the top-four, but the committee was surely expecting such a response. Chairman Rob Mullins of the playoff committee joined the ESPN crew to explain what coerced the group into naming the Nittany Lions the No. 4 team over the Tigers.
Committee chairman Rob Mullens: "Penn State's resume, with wins over Michigan and Iowa, those are marquee wins. ... thought they were a notch above" Clemson.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 6, 2019
As we outlined on Tuesday, it's hard to argue with this point. Penn State has very clearly played the tougher schedule to this point, and has passed every test that has been placed in front of it. The Nittany Lions will still need to traverse their remaining showdowns with undefeated Minnesota and Ohio State squads, as well as the Big Ten West champion in a potential Big Ten championship game to stay ahead of the Tigers. But two months into the season to this, they are pretty clearly the more deserving of the two teams.
No. 4 Penn State will travel to Minneapolis to take on No. 17 Minnesota this Saturday, Nov. 9. Kickoff is set for noon, ET. The game will be broadcast on ABC.