After a down week, Michigan State (7-2, 5-1 Big Ten) is back to its upswing in the polls. The Spartans placed 13th in the Associated Press Top 25 and 16th in the Amway Coaches Poll following an upset win over Penn State.
A loss at Northwestern on Oct. 28 had dropped Michigan State out of the Coaches Poll, but Saturday’s 27-24 victory put it back in both of the national rankings. More importantly, the Spartans continue to control their destiny in the Big Ten East division title race.
Previous rankings (AP/Amway Coaches Poll): 24/NR
New rankings (AP/Amway Coaches Poll): 13/16
What it means: Neither of Michigan State’s losses look bad at all. Notre Dame looks like a College Football Playoff team, and Northwestern has won four in a row. And now the Spartans have their signature win.
They’ll look to add another one still. Next weekend, Michigan State heads to Ohio Stadium to take on Ohio State, which is reeling after seeing its Playoff hopes slip away in a 55-24 loss at Iowa. Win there, and the Spartans will be two victories from a division title.
Michigan State’s offense has begun to come alive in recent weeks — at least, its passing game has. Brian Lewerke threw for 445 yards against Northwestern and 400 against Penn State, good for first and second place in the program record book.
What’s next: Michigan State hits the road to face Ohio State on Saturday. Like the Penn State game, it will kick off at 12 p.m. ET on FOX.