ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Even with a week off, Michigan gained just enough ground in the national polls to crack the top three for the first time this season. And Michigan didn’t need another one-sided victory to do it, either.
Michigan (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten Conference) is No. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, and No. 4 in the USA Today Sports Coaches poll, as the newest college football polls were released Sunday.
Michigan had a bye last weekend and opens the second half of its schedule Saturday against Illinois in its homecoming game at Michigan Stadium.
Previous rankings (AP/Coaches): No. 4/No. 4
New rankings (AP/Coaches): No. 3/No. 4
Last result: Beat Rutgers 78-0 on Oct. 8 in Piscataway, N.J.
What it means: Michigan continues to keep its pace among the nation’s top 5 teams, and got the benefit of a few other teams’ shortcomings as the Wolverines got to enjoy a rare weekend off. Ohio State and Clemson each needed overtime — and a couple of bounces — simply to stay in the top 5 over the weekend. A missed field goal attempt by North Carolina State’s Kyle Bambard with late in the fourth quarter cost the Wolfpack a win over the Tigers, but the fact Clemson needed overtime to win 24-17 was enough to push Michigan into the top 3.
Ohio State, Michigan and Nebraska are Big Ten’s only remaining undefeated teams. As far as switching spots Clemson this week? Michigan’s margins of victory clearly give it an edge in the rankings.
Up next: Michigan hosts Illinois at 3:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 22 at Michigan Stadium.