Penn State was ranked No. 1 in both wire-service college football polls yesterday, the fifth school to hold the position this season.

Pittsburgh was ranked second, giving Eastern schools their first 1-2 ranking since 1945, when Army and Navy occupied the positions.

Penn State's hold was more decisive in the UPI coaches' poll, where the Nittany Lions got 36 of 42 first-place votes and have a 33-point margin. The Associated Press poll, conducted by sportswriters and sportscasters, gave Penn State 36 1/2 first-place votes, Pitt 26 1/2 and North Carolina the other three. Penn State led Pitt by six points in the tabulation.

Penn State last occupied the No. 1 spot three years ago, but the Nittany Lions were denied the national championship when they lost to Alabama, 14-7, in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1979.

North Carolina and Clemson, both from the Atlantic Coast Conference, were ranked third and fourth, respectively, by the Associated Press. Southern California placed fourth, one point ahead of Clemson, in the UPI poll.

Texas, which held the No. 1 spot a week ago before losing Saturday to Arkansas, 42-11, was ranked eighth by UPI and 10th by the AP.

Iowa, a surprise winner over Michigan, was sixth in the AP poll, followed by Georgia, Southern Methodist and Mississippi State.

In the UPI poll, Georgia was sixth, followed by Iowa, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi State.