Penn State is ranked No. 22 and Pitt came in at No. 25 in The Associated Press preseason poll released Saturday.
The Nittany Lions are one of four Big Ten teams in the Top 25. The others are Ohio State (No. 2), Wisconsin (No. 13) and Illinois (No. 20).
Penn State went 9-4 last season and returns 18 starters. The Lions open up Aug. 30 against Coastal Carolina.
Pitt went 5-7 last year but is hopeful for a breakout season with 17 starters returning. The Panthers have had high hopes for this year since ending the 2007 campaign with a 13-9 upset over rival West Virginia.
Pitt is one of three Big East teams in the Top 25, joining West Virginia (No. 8) and South Florida (No. 19). The Panthers kick off their season Aug. 30 against Bowling Green.
''The recognition is nice, but it doesn't change the focus or hunger this football team has,'' Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. ''No bowl or championship is won in August. Our players understand that, and they know the next step in making our goals a reality is finishing up training camp strong and then getting ready for Bowling Green.''
- Cory Giger