Penn State No. 9 in preseason poll

Penn State is ranked ninth in the preseason coaches poll, released Thursday, and will play four of the top 14 teams during one daunting seven-week stretch this season.

Defending national champion Alabama is the preseason No. 1, followed by Clemson, Ohio State Georgia and Oklahoma to round out the top five.

Washington is No. 6, followed by Wisconsin, Miami, PSU and Auburn. Michigan State is No. 12 and Michigan No. 14, meaning the Big Ten East division has four of the top 14 teams in the nation.

Penn State will host No. 3 Ohio State on Sept. 29 and has a bye the following week. The Nittany Lions then will host No. 12 Michigan State, travel to Indiana, host Iowa, travel to No. 14 Michigan and host No. 7 Wisconsin to close out the brutal seven-week stretch.

Penn State starts training camp today and will hold its annual media day Saturday. The Lions open the season at home against Appalachian State on Sept. 1.

— Cory Giger