You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

Idle Michigan football team moves up one spot in AP Top 25 poll; MSU now No. 9

By Staff

After a week of rest and preparation, the Michigan football team still moved up one spot to No. 17 in The Associated Press top 25 poll.

The Wolverines are also No. 17 in the USA Today coaches poll, which is the position they held last week.


Melanie Maxwell |

Michigan State is now the highest-ranked Big Ten team in both polls after its 37-31 win over previously unbeaten Wisconsin. The Spartans are No. 9 in the AP poll and No. 10 in the USA Today poll.

Wisconsin dropped to No. 12 in the AP poll and No 11 in the USA Today poll.

Nebraska (No. 13 AP/No. 13 USA Today) and Penn State (No. 21 AP/No. 19 USA Today) are the other ranked Big Ten teams.

The Big Ten, Big 12 and Southeastern Conference each have five teams in the top 25 of both polls.

LSU and Alabama are 1-2 in both polls and preparing for the biggest regular-season game in SEC history.

The Tigers and Crimson Tide held the first two spots in the AP poll with huge victories Saturday. With both heading into an off week, LSU and Alabama are virtually assured of meeting on Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa as the top two teams in the country.

It'll be the second 1 vs. 2 matchup involving SEC teams, but the first time came in the conference championship game.

Oklahoma, which was No. 1 in the USA Today poll, lost 41-38 to Texas Tech, snapping a 39-game home winning streak.

Complete lists: AP Poll | USA Today



Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

I don't believe we can analyze the Wisconsin - MSU game, apply our analysis retrospectively to the UM - MSU game, and then draw conclusions about whether UM is better than Wisconsin or MSU. Bottom line is UM lost to MSU. The good news from the weekend's game is MSU beat Bielema and that's a win in my book, even though Wisconsin is in the other division. Any time Bielema loses, it's a good thing.

Wally the Wolverine

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 5:06 p.m.

I've been reading a lot of MSU-WI this and MSU-WI that. The most glaring thing that stood out to me was Wisky's kicking game. Scoring between 45-55 points against each of your lesser opponents means you don't need many field goals or punts. The lack of in-game work seemed to have cost them when it counts.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

I understand the problem some people have with these mid-season rankings. But they do provide some analytical information on what is obviously a dynamic (changes week by week) national picture of college football. Maybe the best way of saying it is, in the early days - this kind of analysis was done ONLY by sports writer columnists and the nation had nothing else to go by. I - do wish (!)- that " staff" had waited a bit for the BCS results had come out. According to BCS (which at least includes several computer models), Michigan is #18, MSU is #11. In the other (more opinion based) polls (including the ESPN Power Rankings), Michigan is #17 while MSU is #10. Wisconsin: dropped considerably and ESPN says they think that's a mistake because (as is obvious to everyone): Wisconsin belongs in the Top 10. Looks to me: at this point Michigan's ranking is probably correct (17th or 18th). I do think we can agree: Brady Hoke is getting some "faith points" just because he's been doing a big job (WELL) with conventional coaching methods. It's brutally simple: if Michigan's offense continues to do poorly, that "faith" in Hoke's program will drop somewhat. Only a Rodriguez-like meltdown would completely eliminate: everyone's faith in Hoke's capability. The final factor: is everyone's perception of the "existing talent" on the 2011 Wolverines' roster. The question can be rephrased as follows: can the players on the present roster find a way to play above their capability? I think the answer to that is "yes."


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

The main unspoken purpose of the polls is to give fans something to debate and pontificate about. Most everyone claims to despise the current system, and yet simultaneously loves to prattle on about it. Aside from the MSU game, during which the Spartans looks liked the 1979 Boston Bruins, I've thoroughly enjoyed watching the Michigan games this year, something I can't say about the last three seasons. Go Blue!

Ron Granger

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

Yeah, but the question is... What bowl game will Sparty lose this year?


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 12:10 a.m.

Wait... what was the score for MSU's bowl game last year? Yeah. I thought so.

Jonny Spirit

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

Better look to by your tickets to Ford Field now, since that's where Michigan will be playing. Yeah, Motor City Bowl.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4 a.m.

...which makes me think Michigan isn't as good as we hoped.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:59 a.m.

azwolverine: With the way Sparty handled Wisconsin, I took the opposite view that you did. If MSU didn't commit all the unnecessary penalties in their game against Michigan (penalties that for the most part did not affect MSU's production), the MSU/Michigan game could have been a blowout.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:40 a.m.

First: Honest compliments to the majority of fans posting here. All I have to do to appreciate that was look back to when we were all inhabiting the "trauma ward" the last couple of years. :-) Slight difference of opinion (but not overall) on the Badgers vs Spartans: I particularly noticed that, in the first quarter, Wisconsin nearly blew the Spartans off the field. IMO: what followed was a 2-quarter let down by the Badgers while the Spartans came back hot as a $2 pistol, erased their points deficit and kept going until the last play of the game. They very nearly didn't get the call they needed on that closest of all possible play calls. I believe the Spartans would have lost if the game had gone to OT. I saw it as "win-win" for Michigan: either Michigan could take satisfaction at seeing the Badgers pummel OSU or Michigan could say they'd fallen to the team that beat the best in the league up to this point. Worries: now (IMO), it's a matter of waiting through the next 3 games to see if Michigan is past its Michigan Meltdown phase of the past 2 years. I believe in Hoke and his team: but SEEING will help believing a whole lot! Unfortunately: the critical spotlight is now on Michigan's offensive unit - as a whole, not just on Denard. As far as I know, the only way the Offense can exceed expectations is to come to every game angry as well as throughly prepared. Anger DOES cause people to go beyond their limits. And this team certainly has limits that need to be exceeded. Go Blue - Go Angry!


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:08 a.m.

Rankings are such a joke! Is Michigan the 18 th ranked? Is MSU really top 10? Other than each other (which is suspect anyway), what top 20 teams have big ten teams beaten? Notre Dame wasted the Spartans and I get the idea that if the two were to play again, the results would be the same. So Wisconsin beat a whole bunch of bad teams by a lot and so did MSU and others. How can any of the big ten teams be ranked? Just because they have few losses against the worst teams in the country? Penn state Barely beat temple and temple lost to Toledo and bowling green. And they have beaten purdue, northwestern and Iowa? Are any of these teams any good? Does anyone have a ranking of the strength of schedule for big ten teams?


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:32 p.m.

Please tell me Sparty Spirit: How does beating Wisconsin, Michigan, and OSu prove anything? OSU has not proven anything this year against any ranked team (lost to Miami and beat 2 MAC schools, Illinois, and Colorado (who scored all of 2 points against Oregon, who lost to LSU...). Wisconsin has beaten Oregon State, UNLV, South Dakota, Northern Illinois, Nebraska (who also has beaten no one of significance, including OSU)... And it goes on. So MSu beat these teams. That makes them best of the B10 so far, but they have not beaten anyone worth a darn nationally (including Michigan, which also has not proven anything nationally). So enjoy your week. Enjoy your every 25 year Rose bowl if you go. But don't give me anything about how MSU has proven anything until they actually play a tough schedule. The big Ten is weak weak weak and none of the teams should be ranked based on actual results.

Jonny Spirit

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

MSU has beat Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan. You have beat Northwestern and Minnesota (the last placed teams in the Big Ten) Michigan's schedule is one of the softest in the Big Ten. You will lose out the rest of the season. I can't wait to watch Michigan's next years opener against Alabama, HA HA HA.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:48 a.m.

You've got to be a delusional slappy to think UM has a chance to win the B10 championship this year. Sheesh, I've seen some goofy posts, but that's downright laughable. UM is a second-tier B10 team and has been at least since RR. I see them MAYBE winning 2 more games, but could just as soon lost out. Big 10 Champs? Dream on.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:37 a.m.

The polls are a joke. The way we played msu should mean being ranked no where near the top 50. We were rank rather than ranked. Untill we beat a couple top 15 schools week after week and win a big ten crown again I don't see a top 25 ranking. We can't be outcoached and out played, and out toughed and expect that type of respect. We need to make some serious improvements in several areas. Hoke is spot on when he says "we have a long way to go". Amen!

Jonny Spirit

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3 p.m.

Once again Michigan has beaten the last placed teams in the Big Ten. Yahoo, great job. They have zero win's on there record that puts them anywhere near the Top 25. Michigan may win 1 more game the rest of the year.

Ed Kimball

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:26 p.m.

WIth five Big Ten teams in the top 25, it clearly doesn't take a championship to warrant a top 25 ranking. Of course, there are unlikely to be five of our teams in the top 25 at the end of the season, after we've beaten each other up. But there will certainly be more than one of them in the final listing, and UM can be one of them with a strong finish.

Terrin Bell

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:07 a.m.

Wisconsin and Michigan both shot themselves in the foot. Wisconsin made some real blunders throughout the whole game. Michigan State capitalized. Michigan had it tougher because a large part of its attack is intended to be delivered through the air. With the wind conditions and Denard's less then seller passing abilities, that kind of made it especially tough on Michigan.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

Only thing I'm surprised about is BSU still at #5 after beating Air Force by only 11. Guess someone's still drinking the blue Kool-Aid!


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

I as well, took a little positive spin on the Michigan-Michigan State game compared to MSU-Wisc. Michigan gave up less points and did not blow a 14 point lead. I have no doubt Sparty brang it 110% against Michigan. One reason why Sparty did not commit any penalties was that 1) Wisc would not have put up with that and 2), they would have given a powerful Badger team more yards. Given all of the weaknesses Michigan had against Sparty, we did OK. No "ifs" coming from me. The game against Purdue will be about how well the Maize and Blue bounce back. No looking past anybody for us.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

Hoke said it best last week. Don't let them beat us twice. The MSU result over Wisc does not mean that we were a better team than we thought we were Saturday before last. We have to look forward and focus on playing the best football possible for the next five games. One game at at time. If there is any lesson to take from MSU-Wisc and from Ill - Purdue it is never to take any win for granted.

Terry Star21

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

I agree az, Michigan was in that game...stats don't matter, they were there. Which brings me to believe the way michigan state handled Wisconsin, our stock has risen and 9-10 victories are not just wishful thinking....gotta run, there's this old dead red ceder in my back hard, been a real nuisance - gotta go put it out of misery, take care.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 7:27 p.m.

Sometimes I wonder if MSU wasn't looking past U-M to Wisconsin when they played us. Not a lot, but just a little bit. Because MSU looked pretty darn solid against Wisconsin. As azwolverine says, that may indicate U-M is better than we think. Or it could mean MSU didn't play their A game against us. MSU better guard against let-down going into Nebraska. But in a sense, this game against Nebraska is for the right to go to the B1G championship from that division. If MSU wins, the rest of their games are relatively manageable. So my guess is they'll be up for it. What a bizarre weekend with Wisconsin and Oklahoma dropping, with USC handling Notre Dame fairly easily, and Purdue beating the supposedly ascendent Illinois team.

Howard the Duck

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

Terry, take off the blue tinted glasses. MSU left beaten down? They punished UM hense the 13 penalties. MSU wasn't happy losing six of the last nine? They were on a three game winning streak! I understand homerism but you are over the top!

Terry Star21

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

Don, no way michigan state was looking past...they had two weeks to prepare - this was their game of they year, they weren't happy losing six out of the last nine games.....our improving defense gave them all they could handle - giving up only seven points in the second half...they won, but they left beaten down....but I give them credit, they found a way to win.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 8:29 p.m.

I think MSU played HARDER against UM than they did against Wisc. Just my opinion, but that would seem to account for all of their over the top personal foul penalties they had against UM that they didn't have against Wisc. Also, while MSU's remaining games may be manageable after Nebraska, I wouldn't look past Iowa or Northwestern, either...One slip up after a loss to the Huskers and MSU is suddenly out of the picture. Not saying it will happen, but we've seen this kind of thing happen to many teams many times before. In other words, it ain't over til it' over.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

Agree completely.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

Only ranking that matters is at the end of the season. Michigan has to gear up for the final five games of the season and still have a shot at the B1G title game despite Sparty winning last night. MSU could still trip up against Nebraska, Iowa, or even Northwestern. I think the fact that Sparty handled Wisconsin shows that Michigan is actually a pretty good team when you consider that Sparty sells out harder for Michigan than for anyone else, and Michigan still had a chance to win late. hopefully Michigan learned from their loss, will grow from it, and finish strong to give themselves a shot at the Legends crown.

Jonny Spirit

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

Michigan State almost LOST that game Michigan did not almost WIN it. Michigan should of never been in that game at all. You know they got dominated all over the field. The fumbles and DUMB penalties almost gave that game away. But they didn't and that was 4 in a row. HA!

Blue Marker

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

Trying to follow Sparty logic here. So a 7 point game with 6 minutes left and the trailing team is on the leading teams 9 yard line is not a close game?

mike gatti

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:11 a.m.

No, the game wasn't close. You always had the notion that if State needed to score again they would. They pretty much pushed Michigan all over the place. They did what they wanted and dictated the play. It wasn't much of a game at all.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 8:23 p.m.

Actually with 4th and 1 at the State 9 yard line with 6 minutes left and a chance to tie...yeah, UM was in the game. None of the other stats meant anything, just like the UM/ND stats meant anything. So yes, UM had a chance to win.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 8:17 p.m.

Yes, um had a chance to win the game. If Robinson didn't get sacked so much, If Cousins would have got sacked just once. If Robinson didn't throw a few interceptions, If Cousins would have thrown one interception, If State could have given you 200 yards in penalties instead of only 124 and if State didn't play so hard. Then you would have had a chance to win.