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Penn State Football: Nittany Lions Inch Closer To First Ranking In Sanction Era

by on September 03, 2014 2:00 PM

James Franklin says he isn't paying attention to the AP Poll

And while that's probably true it, breaking into the poll's Top 25 list would be an important moment in the sanction era of Penn State football. The first real moment where the Nittany Lions could simply point and laugh at all the people who said the program would crumble into ashes. The recent upsets and unexpected victories showed signs of life. A ranking would be a sign of relevancy despite all of the odds.

"Those things are outside of our control and to be honest would you, outside of our concern," Franklin said. "We are focused on Akron and Coach Bowden and their players and excited about opening the season at home.  That's what our focus is on. Rankings and those other things like that, that's great for the media and that's great for the fans but that's outside of our control, so we don't spend any time talking about it or discussing it or studying it.

"All our attention and all our energy is spent on how do we create our best Penn State team that we possibly can both on and off the field; and then also preparing for Akron and understanding what their tendencies are and strengths and weaknesses."

College football rankings are far from predictable, but with the Nittany Lions sitting at No. 29 in the Top 25 with with 49 votes in the poll it seems Penn State will continue to climb. The program is far from the No. 25 spot though with Louisville bringing in 141 votes.

Franklin might not be keeping an eye on the only poll Penn State is eligible for thanks to NCAA sanctions, but certainly, a ranking -- even if only for a week -- would be a momentous occasion.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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