Tony Lippett and the Spartans concluded their 2013 season with a win over Stanford in the Rose Bowl. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)
Kevin McGuire, a contributor to College Football Talk, looked back at the 2013 college football preeason rankings of three notable national publications — Phil Steele’s, Athlon’s and Lindy’s — and compared those rankings to the final AP poll.
All three whiffed on Michigan State, which finished 13-1, won the Big Ten and the Rose Bowl, and ended up No. 3 in the AP rankings.
Lindy’s had the Spartans No. 20 in the preseason, Phil Steele ranked them 23rd, and they didn’t even crack Athlon’s top 25.
In fact, in a cumulative average of 20 preseason rankings, the Spartans ranked No. 23. Michigan was No. 17 in that same cumulative average, and the Wolverines finished 7-6 and unranked by the AP.
Florida State beat Auburn in the national championship game, and neither Athlon nor Lindy’s had either school in the top 10 in the preseason. Phil Steele correctly predicted a successful season for the Seminoles, as he had them No. 3 in the preseason, but also missed on the Tigers (unranked).
Here is McGuire’s complete report.