UM fifth, MSU 10th in ESPN’s Future Power Rankings

The Detroit News
Jim Harbaugh

Michigan is ranked No. 5 and Michigan State No. 10 in ESPN’s annual College Football Future Power Rankings (pay site).

The rankings project a program’s success over the next three seasons.

Teams are graded on the following weighted scale:

* Coaching (27 percent of the formula)

* Current talent (27 percent)

* Recruiting (20 percent)

* Title path (16 percent)

* Program foundation (10 percent)

The ESPN panel that evaluated the programs: Heather Dinich, Brad Edwards, Travis Haney, Sharon Katz, Tom Luginbill, Ted Miller, Adam Rittenberg and Mark Schlabach.

Here are Michigan’s scores (out of a possible 10):

* Coaching, 9.2

* Current talent, 8.1

* Recruiting, 9.0

* Title path, 8.0

* Program foundation, 9.1

Haney on Jim Harbaugh: “Whether it's chugging milk or climbing trees -- or sleepovers at recruits' homes or his ballyhooed satellite camps -- Harbaugh has made his presence felt most acutely in the recruiting department. The Wolverines signed the sixth-rated class in February and have continued to dominate headlines on the trail this offseason.”

Luginbill says Michigan’s rise in the Future Power Rankings – from No. 15 in 2015 – is a result in part of Harbaugh making the Wolverines’ “cool” again.

"It's all about brand expansion," Luginbill said. "His energy and his work ethic and his willingness to push the envelope at all times is why this is happening. ... He had no choice to do it because the perception of the program was that it was stale, particularly outside the region.

"He's brought a cool factor to Michigan, which it was sorely lacking. He doesn't apologize for anything that he does. People see him that he is who he is. He has become authentic in kids' eyes."

Mark Dantonio

The Spartans improved from No. 18 last year. Here are their 2016 scores:

* Coaching, 9.4

* Current talent, 7.3

* Recruiting, 7.4

* Title path, 7.6

* Program foundation, 8.6

Mark Dantonio’s coaching score of 9.4 was behind only Nick Saban’s and Urban Meyer’s; both were given 10.

Schlabach on the Spartans: "I think they're definitely there to stay. Everyone talks about Harbaugh as the one who's going to catch Ohio State, but in the end it could be Michigan State."

The top four teams were Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and Clemson.

Detroit News Big Ten football primer