Don’t expect much change for No. 17 Michigan State when the latest College Football Playoff rankings come out Tuesday night.
No change is good for Michigan State. No change means the Spartans took care of business. When you wrap up your regular season against the two worst teams in the Big Ten East per our latest Land of 10 Power Poll — Maryland and Rutgers — significant change only comes with a loss.
Michigan State did what it had to do Saturday, slipping past Maryland 17-7 in a sloppy snow game at Spartan Stadium. It didn’t take a pretty performance. Very few of the Spartans’ wins have, if any.
Ranked teams performed well over the weekend, leaving little room for teams to move far up. No. 13 Oklahoma State, however, fell at home to 6-5 Kansas State, 45-40. We’ve seen the College Football Playoff selection committee care more about the opponent than the score, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cowboys drop below Michigan State, which fell from the same spot after getting blown out by Ohio State, 48-3.
A one-spot jump might be in order for the Spartans, but another No. 17 ranking would merit few complaints. A drop seems unlikely, considering how those below Michigan State in the rankings beat subpar opponents as well.
Should Michigan State beat Rutgers over the weekend, it should find itself somewhere around No. 15 in the subsequent rankings. Not bad at all for a team that most fans were hoping would simply regain its footing in 2017.
What would that mean? Should all go according to plan, Michigan State should enter bowl season as the fourth-highest ranked team in the Big Ten behind Wisconsin, Ohio State and Penn State. If the Buckeyes lose to both Michigan and Wisconsin to finish out the year, they might just fall below the Spartans. But it’s likely in Michigan State’s best interest for Ohio State to beat Michigan so that the Wolverines don’t creep up and steal a better bowl bid.
The Citrus and Outback bowls seem like top possibilities for Michigan State at this point. But don’t book your flight to Florida just yet. A lot can still change.