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Penn State eligible again for USA Today college football coaches poll

James Franklin
Penn State Coach James Franklin’s team is now eligible for votes in the USA Today coaches poll after the sanctions levied against the school were dropped this week.
(Nabil K. Mark / (State College, Pa.) Centre Daily Times)

Penn State football’s great week got better, we think, on Friday when it was announced the Nittany Lions will be eligible to receive votes in the USA Today coaches poll.

The poll, which is sponsored by Amway, promoted by USA Today and administered by the American Football Coaches Assn., does not recognize schools that are on NCAA probation.

That changed this week when the NCAA reversed most of the 2011 sanctions it imposed on Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

“Since the NCAA has dropped most of the sanctions against Penn State University, and restored their opportunity to win the Big Ten title and go to a bowl game, Penn State is immediately eligible for votes in the 2014 Amway Coaches Poll,” Grant Teaff, the AFCA’s executive director, said.

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Let the fun begin! Penn State is 2-0 under first-year Coach James Franklin and opens Big Ten play on Saturday at Rutgers.

Penn State received 35 points in last week’s Associated Press poll (No. 31), which does permit teams on NCAA probation to be in its weekly rankings.

Being in the USA Today poll, however, does not mean Penn State will end up in its rightful position.

Last week, Virginia Tech (2-0) scored a huge upset when the Hokies won a big nonconference game at Ohio State (1-1).

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Sunday, the coaches rewarded previously unranked Virginia Tech with a No. 19 ranking, one spot behind No. 18 Ohio State.

Huh?

The AFCA boasts that it was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 11,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in part, to “maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession.”


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