Charboneau’s AP vote: UM deserves entry; MSU stays put

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Michigan State running back LJ Scott (3) leaves Central Michigan defender Tim Hamilton on his face while he sprints upfield for a second-quarter first down.

There was plenty to debate in this week’s rankings.

Do teams near the top fall because they didn’t look dominant? Do teams with impressive wins make big jumps?

When it comes to the teams around here, both questions applied.

For Michigan, the answer was simple — yes. The Wolverines weren’t in my previous rankings, and quite frankly, weren’t really close. That all changed with Saturday’s blowout of a good BYU team.

Sure, the Cougars likely were worn out after a tough four-week stretch, but the way Michigan controlled the game and dominated up front can’t be denied. And once Utah — the only team to beat Michigan — went on the road and destroyed Oregon, that assured the Wolverines were entering the rankings.

Michigan cracks Top 25 at No. 22; MSU steady at No. 2

As for the Spartans, it was a tougher debate. They haven’t looked dominant in any of their four games and I thought long and hard about dropping them. However, when looking around the rest of the rankings, I’m not sure of a team that doesn’t have questions lingering the way Michigan State does.

Michigan State still managed to win and score 30 points for the 12th straight game. That doesn’t cure the ills in the secondary or magically heal some injuries, but getting wins matters, as it did for all of teams that didn’t lose ground due to an unimpressive win.

UCLA was a big mover this week, jumping to No. 9 after its impressive victory at Arizona. And Michigan was joined in the poll for the first time by Florida and Oklahoma State while Mississippi State is back, as well.

Georgia Tech and Missouri tumbled from the rankings, as did Arizona State and BYU.

Matt Charboneau’s Top 25

1. Ohio State (1 last week)

2. TCU (2)

3. Michigan State (3)

4. Baylor (4)

5. Notre Dame (5)

6. Georgia (6)

7. Florida State (7)

8. Ole Miss (9)

9. UCLA (13)

10. Clemson (10)

11. Alabama (11)

12. LSU (12)

13. Oklahoma (14)

14. Southern Cal (16)

15. Texas A&M (17)

16. Utah (23)

17. Wisconsin (20)

18. Northwestern (21)

19. Stanford (24)

20. Oregon (8)

21. Florida (NR)

22. Mississippi State (NR)

23. Michigan (NR)

24. Oklahoma State (NR)

25. Arizona (15)