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Michigan 7th, MSU 12th in AP preseason poll

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Jim Harbaugh has Michigan No. 7 in the AP preseason Top 25.

Michigan and Michigan State have eyes on a Big Ten title and a trip to the College Football Playoffs this season, and the voters are showing they believe both are good enough to give it a run.

The Associated Press preseason Top 25 was released Sunday, and Michigan checks in at No. 7 with Michigan State ranked No. 12.

It’s the first preseason ranking for the Wolverines since 2013 when they were No. 17 and the highest since a No. 8 ranking in 2012. Since 2000, Michigan has been in the preseason Top 25 11 times.

Michigan State, which won the 2015 Big Ten Championship and reached the College Football Playoff last season, is coming off a third straight season with a top 10 final ranking. The Spartans were No. 6 last season, No. 5 in 2014 and No. 3 in 2013, a first for the program since 1955-57. Michigan State is the only program in the FBS to finish in the top six of the last three AP Polls.

This is the fifth time Michigan State is ranked in the preseason poll under Mark Dantonio - No. 17 in 2011, No. 13 in 2012, No. 8 in 2014, No. 5 in 2015, No. 12 in 2016.

Defending national champion Alabama is No. 1 in the poll for the fifth time overall and third time under coach Nick Saban.

Alabama received 33 of 61 first-place votes from the media panel and 1,469 points overall.

Clemson, which lost a thrilling College Football Playoff championship game to Alabama in January, is No. 2 after received 16 first-place votes and 1,443 overall. This is the first time since 1992 the teams that ended the previous season at Nos. 1 and 2 in the poll began the next season in the same spots. Miami and Washington did it that season.

Oklahoma is No. 3 in the poll and received four first-place votes. No. 4 Florida State had five first-place votes. LSU is No. 5.

Stanford is No. 8, followed by No. 9 Tennessee and No. 10 Notre Dame.


1. Alabama (33 first-place votes)

2. Clemson (16)

3. Oklahoma (4)

4. Florida State (5)

5. LSU (1)

6. Ohio State (1)

7. Michigan (1)

8. Stanford

9. Tennessee

10. Notre Dame

11. Ole Miss

12. Michigan State

13. TCU

14. Washington

15. Houston

16. UCLA

17. Iowa

18. Georgia

19. Louisville

20. USC

21. Oklahoma State

22. North Carolina

23. Baylor

24. Oregon

25. Florida