ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Here’s some early-season fodder for fans of one of college football’s biggest rivalries.
Michigan is ranked No. 7 in the AP Top 25 poll this week — one spot ahead of Ohio State.
You read that right: Michigan is ranked ahead of Ohio State. Ohio State, a vaunted program that reached the College Football Playoff and has seemingly held serve against Michigan for the last 15 years, is No. 8 in the poll that was released Sunday.
The Wolverines (2-0) moved up a spot following a 36-14 win against Cincinnati on Saturday, while the Buckeyes (1-1) dropped six spots following a 31-16 loss to Oklahoma.
Michigan is at No. 7 in the Amway Coaches Poll, two spots ahead of Ohio State.
It seems like a lifetime ago that Michigan was ranked ahead of Ohio State in any college football poll, right?
Not so fast. It actually happened less than a year ago.
Michigan is ranked ahead of Ohio State in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the last two weeks of October 2016 and the first week of November 2016.
|Oct. 23, 2016||No. 2||No. 6|
|Oct. 30, 2016||No. 2||No. 6|
|Nov. 6, 2016||No. 2||No. 6|
Also, in 2012, the Wolverines were ranked at No. 8 in the AP Top 25 preseason poll, while the Buckeyes were No. 18.
In 2011, Ohio State dropped out of the AP poll in the third week of season. Michigan began the season unranked but entered the AP poll that year at No. 12 and went as high as No. 11 during the week of Oct. 9, when the Wolverines were 6-0.
When the Week 3 rankings were released Sunday, there wasn’t much of a clatter from the Wolverines, fresh off their win against Cincinnati.
Players like to say that “polls don’t matter” and that they don’t necessarily pay attention to the rankings.
But when it comes to Ohio State, there has to be a little bit of incentive, right? A little bit of schadenfreude, following Oklahoma’s win against the Buckeyes on Saturday night in Columbus?
“That’s a good feeling,” Wolverines fifth-year center Patrick Kugler said, grinning.
Kugler emphasized that the polls are simply polls, until Michigan hosts Ohio State at noon ET Nov. 25 at Michigan Stadium.
“Nothing matters until we play them,” Kugler said. “Hopefully we’re undefeated and they’re 10-1, and it’s a great game. Worry about that then.”