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Posted on Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 1:13 p.m.

Michigan football up to No. 18 in USA Today poll, No. 20 in AP

By Nick Baumgardner

Michigan football is back in the top 20.

After improving to 2-2 on the road with a 31-14 win at Illinois on Saturday, the Michigan football team moved up to No. 18 in the latest USA Today Top 25 coaches poll and No. 20 in The Associated Press' Top 25 poll.

The Wolverines (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten) were No. 21 in the coaches poll a week ago and No. 22 in the AP rankings.

The last time Michigan was ranked higher in both polls this late in the season was 2007, when the 8-2 Wolverines were No. 13 in both polls.


Michigan fans cheer after the Wolverines' victory Saturday at Illinois. Michigan is ranked No. 18 in the latest USA Today poll and No. 20 in the Associated Press Top 25.

Melanie Maxwell |

Michigan is one of five Big Ten squads to find itself in the AP's Top 25, as Michigan State ranks at No. 12, Wisconsin at No. 15, Nebraska at No. 17 and Penn State at No. 21.

Also moving into the Top 25 in both polls this week is Notre Dame (No. 24 AP, No. 25 coaches). Michigan beat Notre Dame 35-31 during the second week of the season.

The Wolverines will face the Cornhuskers on Saturday at Michigan Stadium (Noon, ESPN).

LSU retained the top spot in the AP poll, netting all 60 first-place votes, while Oklahoma State, Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma rounded out the top five.

Arkansas, Clemson, Stanford, Virginia Tech and Boise State capped the top 10.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

As i have maintained all year, the big ten has not proven worthy to be ranked though there may be a scarcity of worthy teams overall beyond the SEC and top big 12 and pac 12 teams. Boise State at least beat Georgia. But hard to believe that LSU convincingly beat one top 4 team, beat the other at their home, and won at WVU on the road, not to mention their SEC schedule overall. That is one impressive team. And to look at the gap between LSU and Oregon (based on head-to-head) and then Oregon and Stanford (again head-to-head yesterday)--there is a real drop off. What happens to B10 when OSu beats PSU, when M beats Nebraska (hopefully) and when PSU loses to Wiscy. The b10 will likely have only 3 ranked teams, and after they all lose their bowl games, maybe none. (Not too pessimistic, am I)


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 12:17 a.m.

After 10 games played and Michigan is 8 and 2 against some decent opponemnts, we deserve our ranking. Two more gamse to be played, I will be thinking about our next game against NE this week. GO BLUE!!!


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

My point is simply that the rankings really only matter at the end. If we're still ranked when all is said and done, then yes, that is big and recruits do look at that. At this point, though, teams move up and down (or out) from week to week, so the numbers themselves don't really mean that much right now unless you're in the top 5.


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

The rankings might make a difference with some recruits, at least as an indicator of whether or not Michigan has turned the corner and is heading "back." Everybody loves playing for a winner.

Terry Star21

Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 10:22 p.m.

Of course they are important, I think the polls show a lot of support to what Michigan is trying to accomplish. Some people say, who cares/doesn't matter - put you know it's a great feeling. MgoBlueForTiM...................ranked nationally and feeling good....


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

No, the rankings don't really matter at this point, it's just nice to still be included this late in the season. That hasn't happened in a few years.


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

Whatever ... after this weekend it really doesn't matter beyond the top 4 or 6. We're in the home stretch for the the BCS 1 and 2 combination. Beyond that it doesn't much matter.