With 19 starters returning from a 10-3 team, Michigan State is widely looked at as a top 25 team next season. ESPN has the Spartans at No. 9 in its way-too-early 2018 rankings. Athlon Sports put them 10th. Yahoo has them 12th.
In its rankings, Sports Illustrated initially placed five Big Ten teams, including Michigan and Northwestern, in the list instead of the Spartans. It was only a misprint though, and it was corrected. In the end, SI ranked the Spartans 12th.
There was some internet confusion first, though:
— Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) January 9, 2018
— Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) January 9, 2018
— Michigan St. on BTN (@MichiganStOnBTN) January 9, 2018
Sports Illustrated has Northwestern at No. 25 and Michigan at No. 23, nothing the Wolverines could be higher if transfer quarterback Shea Patterson is eligible to play next season.
Let’s not forget that Michigan State brings back 19 of its starters. Because of that, we ranked Michigan State fourth and Michigan fifth in our way-too-early power rankings for 2018.
Nevertheless, it’ll be nine months before these two teams can settle the rankings debate on the field. The Spartans host the Wolverines on Oct. 20.