Michigan State just might be starting to have that look, the look of a team that no matter how things are playing out in a given week, it just somehow manages to keep winning.

Saturday’s victory over Michigan, as improbable as it was, might be the best example of a team that won’t be denied. The Spartans have had multiple injuries and special teams that have been downright abysmal. But they have one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and, at this point, it would be hard to bet against them reaching the playoffs.

There is no doubt the road to that point for Connor Cook — he is 30-3 now as Michigan State’s starting quarterback – and his teammates still goes through Columbus on Nov. 21, but for now, I’ve got Michigan State back in the top four.

A road win over a conference opponent ranked No. 12 will do that, no matter how it happened.

Alabama could have moved up, as well, after winning convincingly at Texas A&M, but no other team in the top five deserved to drop.

Memphis jumps into the rankings at No. 20 this week with a win over Ole Miss, which clings to the No. 24 spot after its second loss. UCLA, Boise State and Northwestern all said goodbye to the top 25 while Memphis was joined by Duke and Mississippi State as teams new to my rankings.


1. Ohio State (No. 1 last week)

2. TCU (2)

3. Baylor (3)

4. Michigan State (6)

5. Clemson (4)

6. Alabama (5)

7. Utah (7)

8. LSU (9)

9. Florida State (8)

10. Notre Dame (12)

11. Stanford (14)

12. Oklahoma State (16)

13. Iowa (18)

14. Florida (10)

15. Michigan (11)

16. Toledo (17)

17. Oklahoma (21)

18. Temple (23)

19. Texas A&M (13)

20. Memphis (NR)

21. Houston (24)

22. California (25)

23. Duke (NR)

24. Ole Miss (15)

25. Mississippi State (NR)